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Selling - doing most of solicitors job - can I get reduction in fees???

(13 Posts)
rodgershawk Tue 16-Jun-09 21:01:33

I am in process of selling a leasehold flat.
Everything seems to be going smoothly apart from anything to do with the leasehold aspect... so I suppose I should say that things are not going so smoothly.

Firstly the buyers solicitor wanted the original planning permission from when the flats were built. My solicitor told me and the buyers that any planning permission was unavailable prior to ten years ago. A quick internet search by me proved otherwise. I got the planning permission from online and faxed it to them..

My solicitor needed to contact the management company to get details of the lease. She said that she could not get hold of them. She said that she had tried several times to no avail. One phone call and I got through.

My solicitor needed a question answered from the freeholders and she said she had not been able to get hold of them. She said she had tried several times. One phone call and I got through.
This is the tip of the iceburg and I have found myself making several phone calls, emails, faxes and letters. Is this really my job? is this really for me to do???

When (if) this sale goes through, is there anything I can do to get a reduced fee?
Obviously I dont want to rock the boat now with my solicitor incase she makes my case bottom of the list.. but can I complain after? or am I just being insane and only doing whats normal????

lalalonglegs Tue 16-Jun-09 21:05:13

I doubt you will be able to renegotiate fees in retrospect but a stern letter outlining the points you make here, saying that you do not expect to have to pay the full bill and cc'd to the head of the practice may mean that you get some reduction. I wouldn't count on it though. At least she isn't blaming the buyer's solicitors for any delay - that's the usual trick.

rodgershawk Tue 16-Jun-09 21:10:07

Thanks lala.
Its so frustrating and I found myself in tears of frustration today, which is really not me. My 16 month old was just looking at me sadly..
I think I will just continue to write down everything I have done and send it to the head after we have completed..

icedgemsrock Tue 16-Jun-09 21:52:37

I complained about my solicitor after I bought my house and did get an apology and some money knocked off.
Was over 10 years ago though!

rodgershawk Wed 17-Jun-09 06:46:46

Thanks icedgem.
Think I will have a go at complaining.. dont ask dont get and all that.

PistachioLemon Wed 17-Jun-09 07:17:27

Your solicitor is taking the piss.

Keep a careful note of everything you have done that you think your solicitor should have done, and either send a letter now to the head of the practice saying you expect better service or you will not be paying the full bill, or send the letter when you have completed complaining about the service you have received.

Good luck. I hope the rest of your move goes smoothly.

rodgershawk Wed 17-Jun-09 17:41:29

Pistachio, I have started to make a list.
Was on the phone for 3 hours yesterday and another hour this morning. angry
Will send the head of the practice a letter on completion (I'm being optimistic!)
I know selling a house is meant to be stressful but this is just making it so much worse when Ive got so many other things to plan... (we are emigrating)

lalalonglegs Thu 18-Jun-09 16:24:35

I think you should register your annoyance/disappointment before completion otherwise it just looks like you are trying it on. It may also make your solicitor buck up for the rest of the conveyance.

rodgershawk Fri 19-Jun-09 11:49:31

Im not sure if it will have the opposite effect.. Im phoning her every day now to buck her up!

bigstripeytiger Fri 19-Jun-09 12:07:07

I agree with the others, send the letter now not later.
Otherwise it feels a bit like eating a whole meal in a restaurant and then saying that you didnt like it, IYSWIM.

rodgershawk Sun 21-Jun-09 06:42:37

BST, actually I know exactly what you mean.

You are right, I'll get the letter finished this weekend and sent next week.
Fingers crossed.

HerHonesty Sun 21-Jun-09 11:40:50

if you get a reduction you deserve an OBE or similar! but you must try, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I am a freeholder of a set of flats and solicitors are AWFUL when it comes to leasehold enquiries. Its really not that difficult, but i seems anything out of the ordinary throws them into complete confusion, paralysis

Katisha Sun 21-Jun-09 11:45:59

What baffles me is why solicitors insist on doing everything by letter. They don't seem able to pick up the phone and certainly don't seem to know about email or the internet.

I remember having to be the gp-between between the solicitor and the estate agent and everyone else - it was crap.

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