How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lisa Lawyer Your Own Question
Lisa Lawyer
Lisa Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 106
Experience:  Qualified solicitor
Type Your Law Question Here...
Lisa Lawyer is online now

I am buying a house which is runned down and alittle bit

This answer was rated:

I am buying a house which is runned down and alittle bit underpriced. The sellers are a brother and sister who both have mental health problems. He has OCD and she has schizophrenia. Because of their sickness l am worried they will agree now and then change their mind. I will be selling my house to buy theirs.
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: Sorry l havent finished writing the problem.I have not prepared or filed anything it has all just been verbal. The second problem is that while the transaction goes through he the brother wants me to pay him £5000 a month for 3 months ( altogether 15 000 Pounds) and that will be deducted from the price he sells it to me so its a sort of deposit for good will to show l will be buying - because he says he is running out of money. Third problem is that after the exchange of contract he wants to remain in the house as a tennant for little rent below market value for 1 year , that is acceptable by me because the house is near to my mum so l want the house. I dont want him to become a sitting tennant or be able to change mind about selling especially as l have to sell my house to buy from him and her. Lawfully do they have any right to stay in the house after the 1 year tennancy contract finishes, or is there any law if for any reason he/ she is sorry to sell the place and reclaim the property in the future. I thought l could give him the £5000 a month as a sort of advance deposit to show good will. Also l have told him he has to move out after the exchange of contract and then move back in as a tennant so he will be out of the house for 2 days to do that and he will leave all his belongings inside and lock the room. He says he is able to move out for 2 days but he is not happy about letting anyone go into the house because he says he has his illness.
Assistant: Where is the house located?
Customer: Hendon central
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Nw4
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have told him l need an EPC certificate to make a contract with him for his tennancy. I will pay. He has agreed. If the house doesn’t pass the certificate where do l stand because l will have spent a lot of money so something has be written somewhere.
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Nicola l will continue to wait for an answer
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is Lisa. I am a qualified solicitor and would be happy to assist.

From what you have described, it is clear that there are number of very valid concerns with the proposed transaction. The good news is, however, that - assuming the matter is handled correctly - there appear to be nothing that cannot be overcome to ensure a satisfactory outcome for everyone.

The £5k per month payment before contracts exchange is very unusual, and it is therefore essential that both you and the sellers are appropriately legally advised. You should both instruct solicitors at an early stage, and this must be before any money changes hands. By doing so, you can ensure that documentation is put in place that protects all parties' interests. In particular, this will also allow you to limit the risk of a suggestion subsequently that you have in any way 'taken advantage' of the mental health of the two sellers in order to pressure them into something that they subsequently regret.

The solicitor that you instruct to deal with the sale of the property will also be able to prepare a short 'assured shorthand tenancy' agreement to be entered into once the legal title to the property transfers. This will enable the sellers to remain in occupation of the property after it is transferred to you for a defined, agreed term at a defined, agreed rent. It will, however, also ensure that they do not accrue any rights to remain in the property once that agreed tenancy period comes to an end.

It is worth bearing in mind that right up until the point that contracts between you are signed and exchanged, the sellers may change their mind. If you using a mortgage to buy the property, you should not exchange binding contracts until all of your search results are received, as your mortgage offer will always be conditional upon your solicitor confirming the title to the property and the search results are satisfactory. This process usually takes somewhere between 6 and 12 weeks once you instruct solicitors.

Practically speaking, that means that there is always a risk that, at the very last minute before contracts are exchanged, the seller pull out. This usually leaves the buyer with a bill for search fees and legal costs and is the reason that people in your position look to co-ordinate the sale of your property (in other words to make sure that you are not committed to the sale of your own property unless and until the purchase contract is also binding). This is probably all the more important here as there is reason for a greater concern that the sellers may suddenly and inexplicably change their minds at the last minute.

In your circumstances, however, there is an added layer of risk - if you make the £5k payment per month before contracts have been exchanged as is currently proposed, there is a risk that this money will simply be 'lost' if the sellers decide to change their mind. Your solicitor could draw up a contract between you which says that - if the seller pulls out before contracts are exchanged, any monies you have paid across is returnable to you, but practically speaking, if the seller is in financial difficulty and money has been spent, your only course of action would be to sue the seller to try to recover the money. And whilst you would undoubtedly be successful on paper, if the seller has no money, he cannot repay it, so bringing such a claim would arguably be throwing good money after bad.

I would strongly suggest avoiding any 'pre-contract' payments if at all possible, but if these cannot be avoided, would suggest that you discuss with your solicitor the possibility of getting some security for this money from the seller, either in the way of a guarantee agreement or a charge registered against the property. Your solicitor will be able to investigate and advise upon your options when he has considered the precise circumstances and legal title further.

I hope that this assists. Please do reply below if you have any further questions or would like any aspect of my response clarified. If my comments are of assistance, I would be grateful if you would confirm by accepting and rating this response. This can be done by selecting one of the five stars located on the top right of the question page and enables me to gain credit for the time taken in responding to your query. Please note that rating the response will not close this question - you will still be able to post below with any further queries or comments.

Kind regards


Lisa Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 106
Experience: Qualified solicitor
Lisa Lawyer and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you l rate you 5/5
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is there a law so the solicitor can write an agreement so we dont get gazzumpted before any papers go through

Thanks for your rating.

Unfortunately there isn't - until contracts are exchanged, either party is at liberty to 'pull out' of the transaction.

Hope that helps to clarify.

Kind regards


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Dear *****, if l sell my house and buy the new one will you be interested to be my solicitor? What will your fee be? What is your address? I also want to draw up papers so that they dont gazzumpt me and to give them £15,000 in advance and to make a tennancy agreement with him for after l buy the house as long as the tennancy certificates, gas checks, etc. have been successfully before he moves in. Thank you