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Ask Stuart J Your Own Question
Stuart J
Stuart J, Property Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 24601
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Solicitor who acted for us when we purchased house didn't

Customer Question

Solicitor who acted for us when we purchased house didn't spot that the charge on the title linked to the old leasehold was still present. What should I do>
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: uk
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: none
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 15 days ago.

Hello. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist your with this today.

Please bear with me and I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you. You will receive an email when I reply.

Can you give me some more information about this matter -

when did you complete on sale?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Jan 2014
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Jan 2013 not 2014
Expert:  Stuart J replied 14 days ago.

If this was eight years ago there is a very good chance that the solicitor no longer has the file because they are only obliged to keep it for 6 years.

The first thing you need to do is get the file from the solicitor if it still exists.

Then it’s a case of the solicitor either dealing with this or the solicitor referring you to another firm of solicitors with a view to bringing a negligence claim.

It will help if I explain how claims in negligence arise.

There needs to be

1.    a duty of care

2.    the duty of care needs to be breached

3.    as a result of the breach there needs to be loss or injury

4.    the loss or injury resulting from the breach must be reasonably foreseeable.

In order for there to be a claim in negligence, all 4  heads have to be satisfied.

You certainly have a negligence claim here.

Under the Limitation Act 1980 there is a time limit of 6 years and you would be out of time if it were not for the fact that the 6 years runs from the date of knowledge, when you discover the negligence.

You can also make a complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Legal Ombudsman after you have exhausted the solicitors complaints procedure.

Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question.  I am glad that I was able to help.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have

Kind regards