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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34907
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My children are jointly buying a freehold property (house)/Could

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my children are jointly buying a freehold property (house)/
Could you tell us their rights if circumstances throughout the purchase process have changed?
Originally the property was advertised as a 'chain free' property but since then the vendor has decided to purchase a property themselves creating a 'chain'.
My daughter was told the 'change in circumstance' and told that this WOULD NOT affect them in anyway and that the transfer of monies between ALL parties would go ahead at the same time for everyone involved.
What they would like to know (in the event that the process becomes protracted) is:
a) whether they have the right to sue both the estate agent (who advertised the property as a 'chain free' property) and / or the vendor if the purchase process fails to complete?
b) my children are first time buyers (and according to their mortgage) have the right to submit a 5% deposit rather than the standard 10%. However because the vendor has 'created' a chain whilst the sale of their property is being progressed, this has created an uncertainty surrounding the percentage of deposit payable by my children, the vendors (onward payment / percentage), and possible associated (costs for my children) and delays for all concerned regarding completion dates.
With this in mind, would my children be entitled to sue the estate agent, vendor and both solicitors involved in the sale of the property for the recovery of monies that they will possibly lose because of the malpractice of the said parties in respect of: misrepresentation of the facts, false and misleading advertising, 'leading the purchaser on' by providing misleading information, creating a situation whereby the purchaser will become liable for costs (in the event) that certain obligations are not honoured within the purchase agreement / procedure, and deliberately agreeing (each parties legal teams) to change legal documentation to suite the circumstance?
thank you for you advice on these matters.
wj murton
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you
I am sorry but there is no action that your children can take against the Estate Agent or the vendor.
I am afraid that these circumstances are not unusual as sellers frequently change their minds about purchasing properties once a sale is underway and there is no enforceable contract until the Contracts are finally exchanged.
There are no extra costs involved for your children - just the possibility of delay.
You do need to be aware that there is no "right" to give a 5% deposit - it is a dispensation granted by the seller
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare

thank you for your professional opinion (although I admit that I am disappointed about the law surrounding actions - which in their effect are a form of 'gazumping' even though the vendor has publicly stated to their selling representative (estate agent - whom I presume would have tried their best to establish the true facts and avoid liability) that the sale involves NO Chain, and yet the vendor can give false information and change all circumstances without any liability themselves.

This I find totally unacceptable and that these instances will only ever change if people like yourself, put forward suggestions for change to the Parliamentary legislature to make changes that will outlaw these practises and protect the purchaser from unnecessary / avoidable delays to buying the property of their desire.

I had stated in my original comments about my children paying a deposit of 5% as their 'initial' payment towards the purchase of the property. You replied that this was a 'dispensation' that the seller could offer if they so wished.

This is not the understanding that my children have.

They have read the mortgage offer documentation etc and these indicate that they are only liable to put forward 5% of the purchase price.

This obviously does not clarify the mechanics of how all of the monies are transferred / forwarded to the vendor but it has raised concerns for my children, in how they would find the addition monies if these were required at this late state of the purchase process and if 10% requirement was not released by their mortgage provided at the predetermined time of the vendor.

In closing I would like to thank you for your advise although I am angry by the possibility that my children will suffer the loses of thousands of pounds because of flaws in the procedure that gives more rights to the seller than the purchaser.

Yours gratefully

wj murton

May I ask why you think your children could lose "thousands" of pounds if the matter doe snot proceed as expected?
I ask because the only actual cost to them should be in the hundreds - the cost of the Survey and any abortive legal fees if the purchase does not go ahead.
I am afraid that you have also confused the two separate legal issues of the Purchase of the property from the seller - and how your children chose to finance the purchase.
Your children are intending to enter into a contract to purchase a property. This is a matter between them and the seller. neither side will be bound to the contract until contracts are exchanged - at which point a 10% deposit is due to be paid.
They may or may not have chosen that property because there was no chain - but the fact that there was no chain does not form part of the Contract.
How your children finance the purchase is not the business of the seller.
However your children are borrowing 95% of the price - and on that basis will ask the seller's to accept a 5% deposit on exchange - as it quite common.
However if for any reason your children fail to complete the purchase then they would be responsible for paying the balance of 5% as a penalty
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


The reason I stated that my children would lose thousands of pounds is because of what your final sentence says - failure to complete.

The sellers solicitor supplied a contract for my children to agree and sign.

This contract stated that they would be required to pay a 10% deposit prior to the property purchase and liable to pay 10% of the purchase price in the event that they failed to complete.

My children emailed their concern about the 10% deposit (and reminded her that they only had 5% available),

She responded that she would ask the sellers solicitor to provided an amended contract but to date this has not been provided.

So at this stage there remains uncertainty as to whether or not the seller and their solicitor are prepared to accept my childrens 5% deposit.

If they do not accept this my children will be forced to default.

Yours gratefully

wj murton

For clarity - Contracts have NOT yet been exchanged so in fact there would be no default if your children do not go ahead with the sale.
In fact it is not unusual for a lower deposit to be accepted - always on the understanding that if there is a default on the contract the balance would be payable - but there is only a risk of that once contracts have been exchanged - and the existence of a chain will not alter that
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