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wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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My freeholder has sold since my solicitor served a notice on

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My freeholderer has sold since my solicitor served a notice on them for a lease extension. The freeholder came back with a counter notice accepting the claim but asking for a higher premium for the extended lease. We accepted and the amended lease was drawn up which we signed and waited for the freeholder to also sign. We then heard from the freeholders solicitors saying that they had been told to hold fire because their client was selling the freehold. Our solicitor then got in touch with the new freeholder who originally seemed to agree that it would proceed and even agreed to keep their fee as the same as the old freeholder. Now the new freeholder has said they were not aware of the claim at the time of purchase because it was not registered at the Land Registry so it is invalid. We knew nothing about this and my solicitor has just said we will have to begin again with all new cost, surveys etc. Should they have filed the claim at the Land Registry or was it up to me to find this out and tell them to do it. It looks like we will have to start all over agsain with all the associated price implications.

wingrovebuyer : Hello. Yes, I am sorry to say that your solicitor has been negligent in not registering the Tenants Notice against the freehold title at Land Registry. He ought to have protected the Notice by way of Unilateral Notice, which would have bound the buyer of the freehold to the renewal process started by your Notice. I suggest you review the terms of engagement letter your solicitor sent you when you instructed him, which should contain details of how to complain. You should then complain to the named person, and say that you expect the firm to bear the costs of this second procedure. You should also ask them to cover the cost of any extra premium demanded by the new freeholder. They ought to agree to this, as it is a seemingly clear case of their negligence. Best, WB.

Thank you, ***** ***** with what LEASE told me, and gives me some reassurance to respond to my solicitor who only offered to refer me to their partner who specialises in litigation, and the associated costs. Unfortunately, they did not give me a letter with terms and conditions, would this effect me in any way.

wingrovebuyer : Yes, it will help your case. They are bound by SRA rules to give you a letter of engagement, when instructed, setting out their scope of work, timescales and costs, as well as how to complain. They are not covering themselves in glory here. I suggest you demand to speak to the Managing Partner and tell him about all of this, and say you will report the matter to the SRA unless they agree to sort it out for you. If they still um and er, I suggest you go to another solicitor, tell them of the problem and ask if they will take up a professional negligence case for you to recover the costs and additional premium to get the lease extended. Best, WB

Thank you very much. I will do your feedback now. This whole process of advice is brilliant. I will certainly use again. Just one thing-I have had nearly 20 request to do your feedback all through today and through last night. An engineering hitch probably but I think it would effect some peoples view on the service. Thanks again.

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