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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 13780
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My daughter bought a tenement flat two years ago in

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Hi. My daughter bought a tenement flat two years ago in Edinburgh (Nov 17). The common entrance hallway was in a very poor state of repair and it turns out it was due to rising damp, which the sellers knew about and had corresponded with someone else in the building in order to get quotes done, as far back as 2014. For various personal reasons, the person organising it had come to a standstill and so the remedial work has only just been completed. Whoops, more to come My understanding is that the seller is liable for the cost of those works because they were fully aware of the need for the repairs before they sold, and they hadn't declared them during the sales process. Is this correct or not?
JA: What steps have been taken so far? Has any paperwork been prepared or filed?
Customer: I originally contacted them in 2017 via our conveyancing solicitor (via their solicitor) but he just said they weren't going to pay. He was included in the correspondence when the work was being arranged last year, but replied (to the neighbour organising it) that he had now sold the flat so wouldn't be paying. I contacted him again last year before the work was done and he again said that he would not be paying anything. So far as I know, his preference not to pay does not remove his liability, so I was going to make a final attempt, but need to check for sure whether or not he is liable.
JA: Have they talked to a lawyer about this?
Customer: So far as I know, not since telling their conveyancing solicitor that they wouldn't be paying, when we first tried to contact them in late 2017.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have some evidence of the email correspondence between him and the neighbour, proving that he was aware of the need for the works prior to the sale, but unfortunately she has lost much of it, so it is limited. Having said that, he has never denied knowledge of it, he has just said that he won't pay it.

Thanks for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland. The first issue here is to establish whether the missives, that is the contract between you and the seller, is still live from a legal point of view. Most missives of sale are time restricted to one or two years. If that is the case your claim no longer exists. The next thing that has to be checked, if the missives are still in force, is whether the usual clause about the seller being liable for outstanding works exists in the missives and to what extent. This can vary from works completed but not yet paid for, works authorised, works proposed and works contemplated. From what you say if a couple of people pin the building were at the early stages of getting quotes at the time you purchased that may not come within the scope of missives typical to this type of transaction. In summary, to consider both issues I raise, you will need to have the missives looked at, firstly to see if they are still in force and secondly whether they provide a remedy for you. This is a matter of contract so what the missives say determine the issue. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.

JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I do not have a copy of the missives. From where would I get them. Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I am happy to stick with typing. It is a very simple follow-up question which hopefully you've received, so I don't think a phone call is necessary. Thanks
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Presume you're waiting for that before replying to my follow-up question. I've no idea if you're going to reply or not. Very strange service.

No, not strange. This is not a chat service. I was driving home hence the delay. You can ignore the phone call offer, the system generates the offer. As regards ***** ***** your solicitor will have a copy on file and should have given you a copy during the course of the transaction.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
OK, thank you, I'll contact them.