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Property 'searches' (conveyancing). How LONG??! Wiltshire!

(13 Posts)
Draylon Mon 04-Jan-16 19:22:20

Briefly, as the executor, I had an offer on my mother's deceased property, in Wiltshire, in Aug '15, accepted (by us) more or less on-the-spot. The 'searches' were initiated pretty much immediately, and, despite warnings, they 'only' (apparently, according to the EA) took 4 or 5 weeks. there was a slightly tricksy chain, but, Job Done, house sold, early October.

DB put an (accepted) offer in on a place, also in Wilts, in early October (10 days before the sale of mum's) .... apparently the solicitor (same people who conveyanced the sale of mum's house) immediately applied for the searches to be done on that.

DB was told, in maybe mid November that they expected the searches would be complete 'on or around Dec 14th'. He called, Dec 16th-ish, and was told, Oh, maybe not til mid January....

Now, I am a grown up. I get that 'stuff' happens. But... as a fellow public servant, WTAF?

We are now 8 days short of 3 calendar months since the 'searches' were initiated. the seller of the property DB wants is, apparently 'motivated', and is also buying on in Wilts.

So, my question is: Does he politely harass- the solicitor? The EA? (unfortunately a national chair where last week's salesman is this week's double-glazing advisor..).. or.. (shudder) The Council?

Does the squeaky hinge get the oil? Should DB get wound up with someone in this admin chain?

And- how can I resort calm and equilibrium in my household, once DB and his 3 cats are no longer under my feet? grin - I think...

Draylon Mon 04-Jan-16 19:30:18

Sorry, pressed 'post'. Not 'preview'!

I meant National Chain, not 'chair'. If there was one of those, I'd be applying to sit on it! grin

What I'm looking for is a realistic idea of who may have some influence on This Stuff (the effing searches). Also to avoid Chinese Whispers where no one knows what's going on.

I know for a fact that the most bolshy patients or patient reps get the oil. I want to know whether DB should be applying pressure to the EA, his solicitor, or the Council. Not aggressive; not threatening; not nasty. Just the same degree of pressure where 'failure' maybe sees someone's commission slide through their fingers (EA), their Band 7 manger get a rapping (Council) or couldn't care less (solicitor).

Who needs a little bit of a tap? Asd 3 months of stasis, in a house selling and buying market, is frankly- ridiculous.

Moving15 Mon 04-Jan-16 20:01:00

Yes it is ridiculous. However it seems to be a problem in Wiltshire. You EA will be able to tell you if this is typical; m.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/13350058._Groundhog_Day__on_homes_as_chains_break_over__appalling__time_it_takes_council_to_do_land_searches/

SometimesItRains Mon 04-Jan-16 20:07:02

ea may know if this is a common problem in the area, but won't be able t do anything about it. Best bet is to ask solicitor to chase the searches, although bearing in mind that if he's paying a fixed fee to the solicitor then he/she is unlikely to want to spend much time doing so.

It's no help to you, but when in practise I once had a letter back from the council in response to my right of way query stating that on current progress they would expect to be able to respond to my query in 13 years shock

Draylon Tue 05-Jan-16 09:20:05

I had a bit of an argument with DB yesterday about it, actually.

He's of the 'There's no point' mindset; but I think that there's no harm at all in phoning both the EA and solicitor and displaying some impatience. If the solicitor has 20 things on his desk, including chasing Wiltshire Council, he may prioritise DB's problem if DB calls to get a progress report. At the very least, he may call Wiltshire to ask why 'mid December', at a stroke, became 'mid January'.

Also, it is alarming how many issues around Probate transpired to be where someone just hadn't looked at or sent on paperwork. My accountant was gaily sitting on the information I supplied regarding the tax return on the Estate, 2 months ago, intending on 'getting around to it' in time for the end-of-Jan deadline- til I reminded him that it needed checking with some time leeway for omissions to be corrected; which, sure enough, there were. That would have been a fine from Mr Tax Man had I not chivvied the accountant up!

We at least believe that the searches are being undertaken, but it wouldn't have completely surprised me to discover DB's solicitor had forgotten to start them. We've mainly been dealing with the solicitor's receptionist, who is businesslike and professional; whereas the odd email we've received from the bloke himself is oddly inarticulate and often a bit ambiguous which doesn't inspire confidence.

Anyway, have emailed DB the 'Groundhog' newspaper report. He has read it in the past, but I have highlighted where the solicitor says that the council will get on with it if they're informed that it's become 'urgent' (whilst questioning why a search should ever be allowed to become 'urgent'!).

BikeGeek Sat 09-Jan-16 19:49:08

I used to work alongside the land charges department. We often had irate members of the public ringing and chasing where their searches were, 9 times out of 10 their solicitors had either:

a) not applied
b) applied less than a week previously
c) used a private search company to undertake the searches

Have you actually spoken to the council directly, or was it the solicitor that gave you advice as to when they'd be ready?

specialsubject Sat 09-Jan-16 19:54:24

It would take 10 mins to ring the council and find out how long searches are taking. Try that on monday.

Draylon Mon 11-Jan-16 18:47:09

I knew they were 'about 10 weeks'. In fact they came through last week. 12 1/2 weeks....

specialsubject Mon 11-Jan-16 21:42:05

two extra weeks pratting about getting pissed and buying sparkly tat. Fairly standard, I fear.

PeppermintPasty Tue 12-Jan-16 16:49:43

As a conveyancing solicitor, I have to say we do tend to prioritise the naggers. That's not to say we can magically solve the issue at hand, but ime I am more likely to push that phone call or email to the top of my ridiculously high pile of shite as I like to deal with callbacks/chasing emails, in fact any emails on the same day if I can. But if I'm very very busy, I prioritise, and then she who shouts the loudest gets dealt with.

Draylon Tue 12-Jan-16 17:05:41

peppermint- thanks very much for your honesty, it's refreshing! The ishoo is now that the seller's solicitor is incommunicado, but DB called the selling agent today to ask him to get the seller to put a polite rocket up them- maybe they're on holiday? Ill? But there ought to be someone who can tell DB what's going on!

FTR I can confirm that the NHS tends to oil the squeaky hinge, too!

I'm not entirely sure what specialsubject's last post means, though- wrong thread? Or am I missing something? grin.

Timeforacatnap Sat 30-Apr-16 22:34:34

Drayton, we are having similar issues as you and in this area too! (But obviously four months later on) Had our mortgage offer at the end of January 2016 and were supposed to have our local search back by the beginning of April 2016. So now a month since they were supposed to be received and now solicitor advises that they anticipate them coming back in the second week of May! Advised that local searches are now taking around 40 working days to be back. My buyers are getting increasingly frustrated as they have sold and moved out to live with PILS with 2 children just before Xmas 2015. All our other issues are complete except for the local search and can only hope that any issues that may arise from those are minimal. We may end up losing our sale as our buyers mortgage offer is due to cease at the end of May! So frustrated and feel so helpless!

Timeforacatnap Sat 30-Apr-16 22:35:29

Sorry *Draylon (bloomin autocorrect)

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