..to want to visit Countrywide Property Lawyers and beat the Solicitor with a big shitting stick?

(64 Posts)
KazzaRazza Mon 23-Apr-12 17:52:51

I am in the process of selling my house. I accepted the offer in the middle of January. My buyers are first time buyers and I am moving in with my parents until I find somewhere to buy, so only 2 people in the chain - simple you would think, if only.

My buyers opted to use Countrywide Property Lawyers and we are supposed to be exchanging today with completion set for Friday. A representative of CPL confirmed on Friday, by email, that all enquiries were answered and would be requesting the mortgage funds. We have now been advised by a different representative, as the one from Friday has swanned off on her holidays for a week, that they can't exchange today as they are not happy with the info supplied regarding an extension that was built 10 years ago (before I moved here and my Solicitor didn't have a problem with it when I bought the place), oh and they didn't request the mortgage funds on Friday.

CPL have had the paperwork for weeks. I have already moved my DD and animals to my parents and am currently surrounded by boxes as the removal firm are booked for Thursday.

So, my question is as above - AIBU to want to visit CPL and beat the Solicitor with a big shitty stick?

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 23-Apr-12 17:58:14

YANBU at all. Wish I had more to add. Selling a house is a nightmare sad

NoraHelmer Mon 23-Apr-12 18:00:23

I used to work for solicitors and they hated having the deal with CPL - never the same person twice, different information each time. All in all a pain in the backside. I wonder how much repeat business they get? grin

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 23-Apr-12 18:01:06

Without even reading your post... YANBU. Anyone associated with house moves should be regularly beaten as standard.

KazzaRazza Mon 23-Apr-12 18:11:12

Thanks all, after typing my OP I poured myself a large glass of wine and feel a whole load better.

Am going to take some laxatives tonight so my big shitty stick is going to be really shitty!!!! grin

I've used CPL. I thought they were very good but I can understand why you are upset with them today OP.

In our case, the sellers solicitor was refusing to answer any of the questions they were asking because my husband was related to the people selling the house and so "he ought to already know the answers." hmm

He almost made the sale fall through (and cause a massive family rift) because he didn't want to do his job and because, as he told both me and the family member selling the house, he hated CPL and said they could go whistle for their answers.

I've been admin for an estate agent and all to often solicitors have gone on holiday and nobody covers their work and everything is held up, which is one of the reasons we chose CPL in the first place, they do have holiday cover.

When we sold that house and bought the one we live in now, our seller was using the same solicitor and my heard sank. He was again just as rude and useless as the first time we had been in contact with him.

And it turned out that our house needed two insurance policies taking out on it before our mortgage lender was happy, one to guarantee that the off road parking would always be valid as it is reached by a private access road and one to ensure that the building work which has been done isn't in contravention of a clause in the deeds allowing the council to insist the house is returned to it's original design.

All these things were done before our seller bought the house, using this same solicitor, and were things that he had never picked up on when he should have. He was very rude about our solicitor making a fuss about such unlikely things but I think it was all bluster for not doing the job properly himself when his clients bought the house.

He is the reason why we exchanged very late on Friday and moved first thing Monday morning, instead of having a week between them. And it took a threat from me to sue him just for being alive to achieve it (and the complaint to the ombudsman I threatened to put it, which you can do to CPL too)

None of which helps you, sorry (except perhaps the ombudsman bit) smile. But my long and rambling point is, either someone at CPL has picked up on something a colleague has overlooked, which hopefully you can rectify with a quick fax through of the paperwork they need or someone at CPL has overlooked something their holidaying colleague already knows and you should still be able to exchange and complete this week.

Hope things work out quickly for you.

DublinMammy Mon 23-Apr-12 19:05:48

Fucking fuckers, what a nightmare. YANBU. Hope it gets sorted out.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Mon 23-Apr-12 19:10:51

I used to work for them. I HATED it, hated the company, the way we operated, the team system, the lack of decent management, the lack of decent training. Diabolical.

Most of my colleagues were odd or horrible or both. Except for me. I am lovely.

So, OP, YANBU at all. Please let me know when the beating is to take place so that I may watch.

lisaro Mon 23-Apr-12 19:13:17

YABU - send someone bigger than you with a big shitty stick!

Annpan88 Mon 23-Apr-12 20:00:59

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere I used to work there! you Cardiff or Manchester? PM if you like I won't out you!

Katiekitty Mon 23-Apr-12 20:04:27

Kazza - make it a very shitty stick if you can, they deserve it.

Brings back all manner of daily nightmares when I used CPL for a house sale and they lied about every aspect of the sale. A 28 day cash buyer exchange took about six months in the end. Sim months of soul-destroying hell.

I feel your pain and hope you find a swift resolution.

DelGirl Mon 23-Apr-12 20:09:00

i'm using cpl for a sale and purchase, seem ok thus far. I live abroad and homes are in the uk. I used them as I thought it would be easier as they are linked to the estate agent I used which turned out not to be that great but they have at least found me a buyer The agent i'm buying from wasn't that impressed. I am hoping that my selling agent will kick a@@ if they don't get a move on hmm

aquafunf Mon 23-Apr-12 20:09:06

when we moved, our buyers used them- first time buyers.

we were buying my mums house-she was moving into rented. we had practically everything done before we even put the house on the market.

it took them 12 weeks to exchange and complete. even then we ended up exchanging and completing on the same day. and it was a week past even our worst estimates which meant that we moved on the first day of the new school term, without help and the day dd started a new school.

they buyers were lovely. the sols were shockingly awful. it was only the fact that i didnt want to lose our first time buyers that stopped me putting the house back on the market

pinktrees Mon 23-Apr-12 20:10:17

My mum used CPL in the past. I can only describe them as scum.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Mon 23-Apr-12 20:11:09

Gawd! Bloody embarrassed to admit that I ever worked for them!

Shakey1500 Mon 23-Apr-12 20:14:25

CUNTrywide (as called at our house) are the most unprofessional company in all respects. I made a formal complaint against them when their employee decided to take £150 out of my bank account, using my card details without authorisation, a whole 6 months after a property purchase fell through. Think he thought we wouldn't notice, twat.

DelGirl Mon 23-Apr-12 20:16:34

oh heck sad, well, i'll keep my fingers x then <sigh>. However, aren't alot (not all) solicitors slow in dealing with conveyancing? I've never heard anyone say they'd had a great one if i'm honest.

Ours were the Manchester branch and were lovely.

DelGirl Mon 23-Apr-12 20:22:46

I should have asked a fellow mner but may have wrongly assumed there would be a conflict of interest or something similar.

DelGirl Mon 23-Apr-12 20:23:13

fellow mner as in rl friend I mean

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Mon 23-Apr-12 20:26:33

Delgirl, don't fret! There are some lovely people there that know what they are doing! I hope all goes well for you.

DelGirl Mon 23-Apr-12 20:34:24

thanks, well according to my case number on their site, it all seems to be moving along but I am realistic I think in that I have given it a 3 month minimum turnround. I can also break the chain if needs be on my purchase so that should simplify things as i'm the last in the chain of 3 that way.

DelGirl Mon 23-Apr-12 20:38:34

does that make sense? what I mean is, I don't have to move straight away into the purchase place so can complete on the sale and then move, they don't have to be tied. Sorry op, taking over but you set the cogs in motion.

GreatBallsOfFluff Mon 23-Apr-12 20:58:30

CPL are a nightmare to try and deal with. I work in the conveyancing department in a firm of solicitors and there's always a groan if we find out the other side is CPL . Delgirl you'll get there in the end with them but to be honest we always say 6 to 8 weeks for a transaction which unless something goes tits up then we stick to it.

KazzaRazza Wed 25-Apr-12 14:37:07

Thanks for all your comments.

I would love to be able to say we have exchanged contracts and are completing on Friday but as it stands I have more chance of pissing on the moon!!!!!

There does seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel as I sent a very polite but firm email to the Chief Operating Officer who has asked the Director of Operations to look at the paperwork and get this sorted!

Will let you know.

buckleymichael Fri 17-May-13 20:28:51

Never never use CPL, as Iv found to our cost.

Nelly000 Fri 17-May-13 20:36:42

Nope, don't care how bad they are, they can't be as bad as Latimer Lee who are acting for the people we're trying to buy off. Almost 15 wks since we made the offer and counting. No chain at either side. 8 weeks and counting to answer a query that arose on the searches.

Seriously OP, hope it gets sorted for you soon... It's horrible.

SybilRamkin Fri 17-May-13 21:03:38

Use a large, nail-studded stick.

Or alternatively disembowel them with a spoon.

Flossyfloof Fri 17-May-13 21:27:50

YA defninitely NBU. I made a complaint about them this week. Bloody cowboys.

Flossyfloof Fri 17-May-13 21:28:48

Mind you, my first solicitor is doing time for murder. There is one common factor...

Ladyflip Fri 17-May-13 21:29:47


I'm a solicitor and have done a lot of conveyancing. I almost refuse to act when I see them on the other side. Do not be convinced by your agent's spouting to use them. The agent is paid by CPL to use them.

ReindeerBollocks Fri 17-May-13 21:36:27

If they are really that bad can you not report the firm to the SRA?

My mum used a firm when selling her house that were diabolical, and literally a week or two after her sale completed (months after it should have done I may add) they were shut down by the SRA due to professional incompetence.

Please report them, they are disgracing a whole profession of good conveyancing solicitors.

Wallison Fri 17-May-13 21:38:44

Oh they are truly shit. And they are shit for the other side's solicitors as well. Don't imagine that just because you are a solicitor dealing with the file that you get preferential treatment - it's just the same call centre with no-one who makes decisions being contactable at all as it is for the customers. They are a fucking nightmare, as are all of these tick-boxy conveyancing by numbers call centre wide boys.

Wallison Fri 17-May-13 21:40:32

Just noticed that this is an old thread that's got bumped up. I'm sure the OP has moved now (probably only just) but hope things work out for you, buckleymichael.

Springforward Fri 17-May-13 21:48:09

I know it's an old thread but honestly, these people deserve it, 10 years ago they were the reason a 2-house chain I formed took 16 weeks to complete while I kipped on a relative's sofa, having moved from one end of the country to the other for work.

Nelly000 Fri 17-May-13 22:20:20

blush I didn't realise it was old. Oh the shame!

SerBrienne Fri 17-May-13 22:26:31

I wasn't that thrilled with them, I must say.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 17-May-13 22:57:49


Notorious wankers whether you deal with them in a professional or client based capacity.

LessMissAbs Sat 18-May-13 00:39:34

To be fair, your solicitors could have failed to provide the information which the buyer's solicitors have been asking for, and also overlooked it when you purchased. When you bought it, there should have been a letter of comfort provided by the Local Authority at least and possibly an insurance policy, though perhaps things have tightened up since then due to mortgage lenders being more strict.

But agreed, they are not the best.

CouthyMow Sat 18-May-13 01:26:33

Wouldn't a big SHITTY stick be better? (Shitty in the literal term of being covered in shit? Then not only is he getting beaten with a stick, he's getting covered in shit too..)

ilovechips Sat 18-May-13 07:47:57

Yanbu. Used them almost 10 years ago and can still remember my rage at their utter uselessness, an uncomplicated 3-property chain took 5 months to complete, and they charge more than others for their shitty services as well...

KenAdams Sat 18-May-13 08:11:03

Flossyfloof mine too! I wonder if its the same person! We lost out on a house because of him.

rundontwalk Sat 18-May-13 08:21:17

Used them once,never, never, NEVER again. A catalogue of errors (some huge), different person every time we rang, totallly unprofessional in all aspects of their service. Can you tell I wouldn't recommend them?!

Seabright Sat 18-May-13 08:24:22

CPL are NOT solicitors, that's one of the reasons that they are cheap. They have some Licenced Conveyancers working for them, but mainly, as far as I can tell, it's unqualified people that do most of the processing, with referrals to the Licenced Conveyancers every now and again.

When I know I have CPL on the other side I know I need to add at least £100 to my quote, to try and cover some of the extra work I will be doing to cover their inabilities. So my client ends up paying more, because the person on the other side choose to use a cheap firm which is paying a referral fee to the estate agent who talked the the other side into using them.

BTW, they are owned by the same business as the Mann & Co, Mann Countrywide and Gascoigne Pees estate agents, amongst others.

Fuckwittery Sat 18-May-13 08:56:53

what seabright said. YABU to beat the solicitor as its very likely to have been a paralegal doing the case work, maybe 1 solicitor supervising 10 people, beat the chief exec yes.

Seabright Sat 18-May-13 09:12:21

There will be NO solicitors there, not even supervising. CPL is a firm of Licenced Conveyancers, not solicitors. Solicitors cannot work for Licenced Conveyancers, they are regulated by a different body.

That's part of the reason CPL are cheap.

CheshireDing Sat 18-May-13 09:47:11

I know this is an old thread but needed to make my point anyway.

There are Solicitors working at CPL. I used to work there too, unfortunately when you have shit people at big companies everyone gets tarred with the same brush. I enjoyed working there.

The problem with conveyancing is also that you have to carry such a huge caseload it is extremely hard to respond to things in a timely manner.

I have definitely worked at worse companies.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 18-May-13 10:44:11

seabright there are definitely solicitors working at the firm. I know two solicitors personally who work there.

Fuckwittery Sat 18-May-13 23:53:12

Law soc says there 18 solicitors there which does not seem v many for a massive organisation

Mimisrevenge Sun 19-May-13 06:23:41

We used their mortgage services. Never again. They mis informed us over a number of things and we nearly lost the sale and purchase of our house. The day before exchange we were asked for an additional £11,000 to be produced within 24 hours. This was just one thing in a catalogue of errors. We were able to get the fee waived. Small mercy- I was 8 months pregnant at the time.

Weightlessbaby Mon 24-Jun-13 18:53:08

We accepted an offer on our house on 26 March (using a Countrywide Agent). We are going through CPL and our buyer is using their Mortgage broker. Today we discovered that our buyer STILL hasn't had a complete mortgage offer. We only found this out by phoning his broker ourselves as CPL and our Agent kept telling us different things and obviously didn't have a clue what they were on about.

We hope (need due to relocation) to exchange by end of July but I'm really not convinced this will happen.

[Incidentally, I found this thread by Googling 'Countrywide Property complaints procedure' - it was the first thing that came up!

Lapsus Wed 02-Apr-14 21:28:10

I have come a cross this post whilst trying to see what others have thought about countrywide.

They basically recommended their in house lawyers to deal with the conveyancing. I went for it as they said it's all in house and it will be quick and simple.

Just beware, after about a month of nothing they had sold my case to another firm! I had to fill loads of forms out again, I was dealing with a firm miles away from me and I was not happy at all. The estate agents were always on my case, they are like hard sales people with no customer service skills. I have read other posts on the net that they sell quite a lot of files despite the hard sell that they are brilliant all singing and dancing.

Anyways the completion and work the other firm wasn't bad to be fair, but I think the process was slowed down at least a month whilst they obviously negotiated the sale of my file. I also wasn't happy about countrywide being paid more then the legal fees as a 'referral fee' when they did nothing but harass me.

My advice? Go with a lawyer you decide to use not them. Their fees are higher than I expected, read the small print of any firm you hire and question your bill at the end.

Also check the search package you are quoted. Most will quote you for all the searches when I found out I could have just chosen the local authority search and the water search and that would have saved me almost 150 quid!

cfc Thu 03-Apr-14 11:55:04

Argh! I have to reply to this even though it's a zombie thread. I am a solicitor and in my firm we used to groan at our desks when we saw that the other side were using CPL.

Whenever anyone made this noise you'd look at them and say "CPL?" - or your secretary would hand you the post with a sympathetic look on her face saying "you're not going to like what you find in there..."...yup, CPL.

Basically, you'd have to tell your client that you would have to revise your quote and the length of time the matter was expected to take because you'd be spending A LOT of your time EDUCATING their box tickers in the not-so-finer points of the law and chasing and chasing the buggers up.

Rant over.

We've just sold our house and have offered on another, I was holding my breath waiting for the Memo Of Sale praying that my fellow chainees weren't using CPL!

Skinidin Thu 03-Apr-14 13:06:19

My son used CPL - they were appalling.

Almost impossible to speak to the person who was dealing with the sale, having to answer the same identity questions innumerable times, not wanting to exchange contracts etc etc.

I was buying and selling at the same time, my sale was tied in with his a nd my solicitor was infuriated by CPL. My son had been led to believe by his mortgage company that he had to use them, not actually the case.
Apparently, CPL like to complet and exchange all on the same day, they can charge for so doing.
As it was, it went right down to the wire on the Friday, we only just managed to complete before close of business. I was so worried that we would have to pay penalty charges.

Hope it goes ok for you.

Skinidin Thu 03-Apr-14 13:08:07

Just realised this is a zombie threadsad

But it's worth replying just to warn people off CPL!

Quangle Thu 03-Apr-14 13:11:49

I have had a horrific experience with another firm of licenced conveyancers and would never go this route again. (Their initials are L & T just in case anyone is on the verge of using them.)

I had to move all my work to a standard solicitors' firm to get it done properly - horrendous. I think the conveyancers are cheaper but it's just a commoditised service and it was not worth the saving. I'm not sure how they were still in business.

Notmumyet14 Mon 29-Dec-14 12:54:56

Countrywise - avoid at all costs! Our seller is using them, we started this buying process at the beginning of November. Over the last 2 months, queries have gone missing and paperwork hasn't been checked or arrived with our lawyers... if we had known how bad they were we would have avoided getting into any purchase with anyone using them.

BorisBaby Mon 29-Dec-14 14:13:35

We rented from a lovely fily business that sold the business to them. The fees had more than tripled in price and they tried to up the rent! Luckily the original contract said rent and fees could only go up by a certain percentage so we didn't have to pay it. The house inspections turned into every three months (we had been there for over two years) got ridiculous and very rude house was spotless . They tried to tell us to get rid of our dog because she wasn't meant to be in the house even though it was on the original contract and even had her age and breed on it plus the owners knew about her! Luckily it annoyed us so much we bought our own house and I have enjoyed knocking down walls (literally) and painting in whatever colour I wanted fgrin I have no idea how they can be in business still

DoubleValiumLattePlease Mon 29-Dec-14 14:37:40

ZOMBIE thread!!

icecreamcrackers Mon 29-Dec-14 15:34:27

Not read the thread but I would hit them with a big stick too. Sold my house with them and they were so useless it is unreal.

Doingakatereddy Mon 29-Dec-14 15:44:31

Don't care if it's a zombie thread, after our last experience of buyer using countrywide I would actually pull a sale if in future any house buyer used them.

I am not joking, they are horrendous. They Make house selling torture

weegiemum Mon 29-Dec-14 15:45:46

Don't use them as agents to rent a property either. Utterly useless!

Lucyandpoppy Mon 29-Dec-14 18:31:46

I used an estate agent who comes under the Countrywide property umbrella.

Truly awful experience - when we moved in flat was damp, had a leak, toilet broken, sink broken, kitchen floor 'unfit for purpose' (as stated in the inventory that we were given after moving in), bay window in the lounge hanging on by 1 hinge. We were there for 6 weeks and it was only through constant nagging and persistence by me that they very reluctantly sent out contractors to fix some of the damage. We paid loads of money in admin fees (about £500 on moving in) and were totally fed up, they said that the only way we could move out was to pay them more money to re-let the house which we very reluctantly did (another £500) in total lost £2,000 from living in a damp flat with contractors coming and going for 6 weeks.

The estate agents were absolutely horrible and very poor communication, even though we had shelled out loads of money they treated us like a nuisance.

Avoid Countywide at all costs would be my advice including all of their estate agents (Austin &Wyatt, Gascoine-pees etc)

londonrach Mon 29-Dec-14 18:34:55

We got told we could pay a £25 fee to hear about houses before others. My husband thought that sooo wrong. We still living in rented. 2015 is going to be our year of a house.... Yanbu.

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