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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10398
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I Bought a a property in 2007 I am now in the process of

Customer Question

Hello, My Name is Jo***** *****.
I Bought a a property in 2007 I am now in the process of selling it and its come to the buyers attention that parts of the garden and the little car parking space at the front is still in the previous owners name. As it transpires he bought the back bit of the garden off the council along with a car parking space at the front of the house and failed to transfer it to the deeds. I don't know how this was missed when I purchased the house but somehow it was! In the meantime I contacted Simon Cowton the person I bought it off and he assured me it was a mistake and he would rectify it. So through my solicitor Stan Lonsdale of Hunt and Wrigley Northallerton, we agreed I would pay Simons cost in transferring it to me as a measure of good will. However as weeks went by we never heard back from Simons Solicitor, Having chased them up they then sent a letter Saying Simon would transfer the garden but not the car parking space! He is basically trying to get me to pay £10,000 for it. As the months have gone on My solicitor has pointed out that he sold to me in good faith the whole of the house, garden and car parking space, and it says so on the original for sale details, I have now lost the sale of the house as there mortgage offer is due to run out end of August and we are still no further forward, I am at my wits end that this man can hold my whole life in his hands through what was his error not mine. I would never have bought the house without the garden and car parking space, if you could see it you can clearly see its all attatched. Please can you help me before it goes to litigation and vasts ammounts of money I really cannot afford.
Jo***** *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I don't have it settled here I really don't know what I am going to do. It seems the law is so slow in these matters.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello can someone please nswer me?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi This is not at all what I expected from this site! I am being told my wait time is 8 mins and that's since last night?? Please answer
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

I apologise for the delay. This has only just come to my attention.

Did you solicitor check the extent of the property on the title plan and ask you to confirm this was the full extent of the property that you were buying?

On that title plan, are these pieces of land excluded?

Was there any mention of this in the contract are you just talking about agents particulars?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Mr Smith,
I signed the Plans without really looking at them if am honest, it was a street Plan and didn't look any different to what I thought I was Purchasing. However Mr Simon Cowton who I bought house of acknowledged it was his mistake and had no qualms signing the extra missed pieces to me as long as I paid his fees. which I agreed to do as a measure of good will, He has since been advised to sell me the car parking space in particular and gone back on his written word!?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, any agreement with regard to the sale of land/property must be in writing and signed by the parties. The statutory provisions are the Law of Property Act 1925 and the Law of Property Act (Miscellaneous Provisions) 1989

It is unlikely therefore that you could actually enforce the agreement whereby he agreed to transfer this extra piece of land to you if that was just a stand-alone agreement.

There may be a claim against your solicitor if your solicitor was negligent in confirming the extent of the property.

However one of the things which the seller cannot rely on to extract more money from you is mistake and nor could you.

Hence, if he transferred land to you in error, you would not be able to keep it simply because you had a transfer deed transferring that land. By the same token however he cannot rely on your mistake in failing to check the plans and his mistake (which he admits) in failing to sign the transfer of this piece of land.

Although the agents particulars are not legally binding, they are relevant when it comes to deciding any court proceedings. These matters are decided on the balance of probabilities and therefore, if there is some evidence which tips the balance in your favour regarding whether you were supposed to have this land or not, the agents particulars would be it.

If he steadfastly refuses to transfer the car parking space and it’s in the agents details you would have no alternative but to take him to court to have the court decide the matter as to whether this was a mistake or whether it was genuinely not included in the sale.

There seems to be little point in your solicitor exchanging lots of correspondence which will only serve to increase costs. You should really give him the ultimatum as to either sign the transfer deed or risk being taken to court. If he still refuses to budge, then you have no alternative but to go to court. Hopefully the threat of proceedings may making think twice and sometimes, it does reinforce the threat if the proceedings are drafted (but not sent to the court) and sent to him along with a covering letter along the lines of, these are the proceedings we prepared, we really do mean business, and if you don’t sign the deed, they will be going off to the court.

As I said earlier, I suggest that you look at the information given to your solicitor and the correspondence from your solicitor to see whether there is any blame which can be attributed in that direction.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please don’t forget to rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

Best wishes.