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Category: Law
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We sold a property two years ago but have now been hounded

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We sold a property two years ago but have now been hounded with the accusation that there is Japanese Knotweed on the property and that we knowingly misrepresented this. We had no knowledge of this or the claim that it has previously been treated - we have had knowledge of the property since 2001 and although there is bamboo in the garden this has always stayed contained and never spread like JP would. The buyer has a no win solicitor who refuses to send photographs or plans or the so called management plan but keeps trying to put the emphasis on us that we should have checked when we had no known reason to do so, The buyer is also a surveyor and did not pick up this so called infestation although he viewed the whole property of some 1.5 acres. The solicitor even states that even if we believed it to be bamboo we should have carried out a survey rather than "rely on our purported knowledge" I suffer from acute anxiety disorder and this is really beginning to worsen my health. In addition although I owned the property jointly with a friend they seem to be focusing on just me rather than both of us.
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No the only document we completed was the TA6 which we completed honestly as we had no idea that there could be a problem .
Assistant: Where is the property located?
Customer: Westwoodside, DN9 2AA. Furthermore, in the absence of any photographs or plans we cannot be sure where the said infestation is. The buyer moved livestock onto the land from other land the buyer used.
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The buyer is a qualified surveyor and his friend surveyed the property over a 2 hour period and neither identified any issues other than some work needing doing in the roof - we agreed to pay for this by deducting the cost from the purchase price.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you today.

The lawyer should send you photographs and plans to support their allegations - you should ask them to disclose those in pre-action proceedings to try and narrow the issues and avoid litigation. Their surveyor should have picked up on the knotweed prior to purchase too - it is not for you to commission a surveyor and the onus is on the buyer to do so. As such, I would dispute their claim and say to them that if they do issue proceedings, you will apply to the court to strike out their claim based on insufficient prospects of success and no merit.
If they do this and you want to apply to the court to strike out their claim, you will need to fill out and send form N244 (attached) and pay a fee of £255 payable to HMCTS - there would be a hearing and you can ask the court for an order that the claim is struck out. You could ask an advocate to attend for you (I recommend LPC Law which is a nationwide advocacy service).

If you send the solicitor's a letter to outline the above advice, invite them to drop their claim - hopefully it should get them to reassess their prospects of success.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button on your screen to do this), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Kind regards,

Jim

Jim1079 and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you so much you have really helped.