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if my solicitor missed something, are they financially liable?

(10 Posts)
ArabellaBeaumaris Fri 20-Sep-13 12:28:11

It appears that our solicitor failed to serve notice on our leaseholders correctly, the result of which was that substantial ground rent arrears were not settled at the time of purchase.

Just wondering if that means our solicitor will have to pay <hopeful> or whether we will have to suck it up?

SuedeEffectPochette Fri 20-Sep-13 14:31:23

So you bought a property with tenants in? And the solicitors acting for you didn't serve notice on the leaseholders? Bit confused. Are the tenants not still liable for these amounts? If so, get the money from them as there will not be a claim against solicitors if you still have a party who is liable to pay the money.....

prh47bridge Fri 20-Sep-13 15:00:08

Are you saying you bought a property with tenants in and they owe you money? Or did you buy a leasehold property and you owe the ground rent? If it was the latter, who is chasing you? Is it by any chance Shenstone Properties? They are known for buying properties with ground rent arrears. They then attempt to claim more years unpaid rent than they are entitled (they can only claim for the last 6 years) and padding the claim with large fees for administration, recovery fees, etc. which may well be substantially more than they would be awarded in court.

VanitasVanitatum Fri 20-Sep-13 15:09:40

Without knowing any of the facts, if your solicitor made a mistake which has cost you money or lost you money, they could be liable for professional negligence. Get some advice from another firm if you can afford it, but the solicitors will have insurance in place to pay out for mistakes like this.

VanitasVanitatum Fri 20-Sep-13 15:10:09

Love the nn by the way!!!

ArabellaBeaumaris Fri 20-Sep-13 15:34:26

Bother, crucial error! We are the leaseholders & the solicitor didn't serve notice on the correct freeholders. They are claiming for arrears for the past 6 years plus admin fees etc - the 6 years of ground rent arrears should be £24 but the debt recovery & all that is making it up to £1090 hmm not shenstone btw

prh47bridge Fri 20-Sep-13 17:54:44

Sounds like they may be adopting similar tactics to Shenstone. Fees of £1066 to recover a £24 debt! It is so out of proportion I suspect the courts would regard it as unreasonable and would either not uphold it at all or would substantially reduce it.

The first thing the freeholder must do is issue a proper ground rent demand in the format specified in s.166 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002. Until they have done that you don't owe them anything.

McKenzie13 Fri 20-Sep-13 21:00:45

Hi there,

I would certainly file a complaint. Depending on the amount of your loss you may find that the solicitor may wish to recompense you as a "gesture of goodwill".

prh47bridge Fri 20-Sep-13 23:46:48

Two points:

- Your solicitor is only liable if he/she has failed to exercise reasonable care and skill. It may be that your solicitor slipped up but I certainly wouldn't trust the freeholder on that point.

- Even if your solicitor did slip up he/she is only liable if the bill is caused by the mistake. If the bill would have been the same regardless your solicitor is not liable.

- You are in any case required to keep your losses as low as possible. You may be liable for the actual ground rent arrears (£24). Whether or not the freeholder can collect any of the other £1066 being demanded depends on the nature of the fees and whether or not the amounts are reasonable.

gillers55 Mon 07-Dec-15 22:22:45

for information although may be out of date on this thread? I am another victim of Shenstone Properties known as ground rent grazers. They have form and have even been cited in parliament. They will only take cheques sent to a po box number and then claim never to have received them so they can then add on an extortionate admin fee for recovery. I heard nothing for three years then in September they demanded £10 (2.50 a year). Claimed never received my cheque and then slapped on a £70 admin charge. they are all over the internet for their dodgy practices.

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