Thank you. Your house purchase will have incorporated the national conditions of sale - I say this with a high degree of confidence because with the exception of some very high value transactions involving properties exchanged between holding companies as vehicles for tax avoidance and the like virtually every property sale in the country incorporates these conditions are a minor variation of the same which are published by local law societies rather than the national law society. You can view a copy of the conditions here though I do not suggest or recommend that you wade through them all as it makes for very tedious reading:
I would draw our attention to condition 6.3 and 6.4(a) which you will see provides that any service charge, rent etc should be apportioned between the parties on completion. This is your solicitors job and he should have both obtained evidence of service charge and ground rent payments prior to and if necessary post exchange in order to calculate the relevant apportionment.
If he failed to do so 1) you still have a contractual right to receive the relevant apportionment from the seller and 2) if for some reason you are not able to recover the amount from the seller, your solicitor will be liable to you for the same under the tort of negligence.
the simplest way of approaching the matter is to contact your solicitor and raise the issue with him providing him with a copy of the evidence you have obtained in the form of the invoice from the managing agents and asked that he contact the sellers solicitor to arrange the appropriate apportionment. although you have the right to make a formal complaint and escalate the matter to obtain compensation as discussed above, there is little to be gained in going in with "all guns blazing" on your first contact with the solicitor, and informal email or if you prefer letter in the above terms should be sufficient. it is more than likely the solicitor will realise his mistake and be more cooperative.
In the unlikely event that you find your solicitor is less than cooperative upon the point however, you can consider referring the solicitor to the above conditions and his duty of care to you as his client and asked that he reconsiders his position advising that you do not want to take the matter further unnecessarily and should appreciate his assistance.
If you find you are still no cooperation you can raise a formal complaint with the complete partner of the firm, which then has eight weeks to deal with your complaint and give you a final response. If you remain unsatisfied, you can refer your complaint to the legal ombudsman service which has the power to make a final determination which is binding upon the solicitor.
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