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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
No problem. Would you be able to kindly let me have replies to my two questions so I can assist further?
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Thanks. One last question if I may - did your solicitor obtain a statutory declaration from the sellers that they have driven over the pavement for the time they claim? Also did your solicitor advise you that there maybe an issue with regards ***** *****?
Thanks for the above. There are two bases on which you have potential grounds for complaint from what you say. The first is as regards ***** ***** The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 prohibit 'misleading actions' and 'misleading omissions' that cause, or are likely to cause, the average consumer to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise. The regulations require that agents ensure that any features described as benefitting the property are accurately and not misleadingly described and in particular with parking agents should confirm that owners have a right to aprk where they do. The lack of a dropped kerb will be obvious to anyone inspecting the property and failing to mention it if describing the property as haveing a parking space may be a breach of the regulations which can also be a criminal offence.
You may have grounds for complaint on this basis and if you consider the particulars are misleading in this respect you can raise a complaint which they must deal with in 8 weeks failing which you can escalate the complaint to the Property Ombudsman service the agent is required to be a member of. They must tell you which one they belong to. There are only 3 I think from memory. They can make an independent determination and award compensation where they find in your favour which potentially could be significant if the council refuse your application
Much the same applies to your solicitor though the basis of the law is different. The solicitor should have been sent a copy of the particulars and should check there is appropriate access to the property by vehicle (if applicable) and foot. The solicitor is right that the particular issue does not appear on local searches but isn't really the point. His duty goes beyond what is revealed in searches. He should note tha parking and report to you asking you to confirm that there is a dropped kerb i place and advise you if there is not there is no right to drive over the pavement. He also fro what you say has not sought to obtain a statutory declaration from the sellers to establish a legal right to drive over the pavement through long use. Acordingly there may be an element of negligence here for which you can follow much the same complaints process as above, but here you escalate your complaint to the Solicitors Ombudsmand instead who have much the same powers. Obviously you cannot claim compensation twice for the same thing so would need to disclose any complaint to either body that you have made to another.
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The sellers haven;t necessarily done anything wrong themselves unless you can point to a specifi statement they have made which is untrue. Unless you can it is likely that your rights will be as against the agent and/or solicitor as discussed above. You would need to obtain a statutory declaration of long use of more than 20 years in order to secure a legal right to drive over the pavement. In principal it is possible for a neigbour who has personal knowledge of the property to also give a statement but it is not as a good as a statement from the sellers. This is something you will no doubt want to follow up with your solicitor.
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?