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propertylawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 288
Experience:  Property solicitor with expertise in commercial and residential property transactions.
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I engaged a solicitor to extend the lease on my flat using a

Customer Question

I engaged a solicitor to extend the lease on my flat using a section 42 notice because the freeholders were being unreasonable. That was stated to have been served at a valuation of The solicitor was using moved to a different firm during the response period. When the deadline arrived there was no response from the freeholders. I contacted the original firm but got no response I therefore felt it would be better to stay with the solicitor at his new firm because he knew our case. He then advised us that we should begin the procedure anew . We were unhappy because of the delay, but had no choice. Because of the timescale, our valuation had to be renewed, which cost £540 . Also because a year had passed the extension cost went up by about £900, and the premium demanded went up by £2025.
When the issue was finally settled it cost us £13250 premium plus costs.
After completion I raised a complaint with the original firm, and the ombudsman has ruled that the first section 42 was delivered correctly, and the tribunal would have agreed.
That means that the amount I am out of pocket is the difference between our first submitted valuation and the final settlement plus the second valuation cost, namely £13250 +£540 -£7850 = £5940.
Is it reasonable to pursue a claim for compensation against the second firm on that basis.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 1 year ago.

But isn't the issue here the fact that your matter was not handled correctly after service of a valid notice, I.e no follow up and the notice expiring, thus resulting in a new application and service of a new s.42 notice at greater cost.

This is not an issue about service of the initial notice but failings thereafter. Was there no mention of that in your complaint and the ombudsman's report?

Expert:  propertylawyer replied 1 year ago.

Do you have any further questions or queries? I am happy to assist further.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The Ombudsman merely ruled that their was no case to answer regarding the delivery or not of the first section 42 notice.
I did not mention the lack of follow up because that took place once he had moved to a different firm.
He advised us to resubmit after investigating the situation and we had no choice but to follow that advice.
The Ombudsman has clarified things because she has said there was sufficient evidence of posting and the tribunal would have accepted that as a fact.
I fully expected that the Tribunal would need proof of delivery and based my complaint on that. Obviously I was wrong.
So in answer to your question, no.
The Ombudsman noted that the first firms followup was poor and said they were lucky we moved onto the second firm midway, but didn't deem that to be grounds for compensation.