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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
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Experience:  Solicitor
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I have been in the process of selling my flat to the Royal

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I have been in the process of selling my flat to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea through our estate agent. RBKC came and saw the flat 3 months ago and made an offer, as they required one-bedroom properties to rehouse the Grenfell Fire Victims, and we accepted the final offer.
Up until 2 weeks ago everything was on track and we were due to exchange ith a view to buying a house in Bognor. The week before last my solicitor received confirmation that the timing was correct from RBKC's solicitors - then exactly a week later the Council pulled out of the sale. I was deeply upset and wrote to the Deputy Leader only to be told that they had enough Properties. My estate agent was told they had a funding issue and, today, I hear from another member of the Council that our property was not suitable! Am I in any position to go after the council to recover my costs (which are in the order of £5k to £6k) - I know the law in England allows withdrawal from sales but there is some double dealing here on behalf of RBKC. My apologies for being so long-winded. With many thanks,
Christopher Sprague

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

What is it you want to ask about this today please Christopher?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks Jamie,
The Council have been telling us different stories as to why they have pulled out of the sale. We have been negotiating with them for 3 months and on 31 Jan our solicitors were told by the Council's solicitors that a time scale for end of Februsary was satisfactory. Exactly one week later the council withdrew from the sale. I have been in touch with RBKC by email and only today heard that our property was not 'suitable' - and this after 3 months of negotiating with them. I m ust have spent nigh on £6k now (as indeed has the owner of the property we were to purchase in Bognor. I have had a year recovering from Cancer and must admit that, apart from the appaling behaviour of the council, now feel physically and pyscologically wiped out . I have copies of the two emails (the second just sent two hours ago) and wonder if I have any recourse to claiming back my expenditure to date? Thank you . Chris
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I can copy and paste the emails if that would help?

In reality Chris, I am sorry to say you don't have a claim.

In law, either party can pull out at any time before exchange

So that could have been you or them

However, what I would do is write and complain to the Chief Officer. That department will investigate the matter and report back to you.

If they do not uphold your complaint you can then complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.

They offer a free, independent service and can examine your complaint for free at: www.lgo.org.uk

Those are the steps to take if I were you.

Beyond that, sadly they are entitled to pull out.

I am sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you want, nor the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for this - my emails have included the Leader of the Council - is that who you refer to when you suggest contacting the Chief Officer?
And, as things stand, you do not think they should reimburse my expenses?

No. The Leader is the elected official.

Chief Officer is employed.

Well I agree they should, but legally they do not have to

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
sadly it does - but I will certainly follow up on your suggestions Thank you very much Jamie.
Chris

All the best Chris. If this answers your question could I invite you to rate my answer, 5 stars the happy face on the page before you go today, otherwise the site doesn’t pay me for the time spent with you. Thanks in advance!

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