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Draft contract, weird lawyer, not sure what this means, can anyone advise?

(10 Posts)
globex Fri 02-Oct-09 13:23:05

This is on the off chance that someone knows about contract law/lawyers, exchanging contracts etc..

As an aside - this is really driving me crazy. Once we've bought this house I'm going to lure the vendor and his solicitor inside, lock the door and burn the whole thing to the ground.

Okay - we were meant to exchange contracts yesterday.
Before that happened our solicitor asked the vendors solicitor to fax over what they had signed. He refused for the entire day.

This morning our solicitors got the faxed contract. It wasn't signed by the vendor but by the solicitor with 'no personal responsibility' written in the little sign box thing.

I understand that they may have permission to sign on behalf of the vendor but does this 'no personal responsibility' mean that NO ONE is responsible?! All that is in the little box is the lawyers signature and 'no personal responsibility' - there's no 'on behalf of..' - but I'm not sure if there needs to be..

Also they won't/can't fax over anything to say that the vendor has given them permission to sign..

Can anyone tell me what the frickety frack is going on?! I'm at my wits end here. If this doesnt go through in the next hour then I need to find somewhere to rent in the next few days..

theyoungvisiter Fri 02-Oct-09 13:28:03

god how weird - what does your solicitor say - does he think it's a concern?

I know nothing, but having been in a chain with some bonkers vendors (in fact it fell apart in the because of their weirdness) you have my utmost sympathy and I think a jury composed of homebuyers would let you off on a charge of diminished responsibility if you did burn their house to the ground grin

WorkInProgress Fri 02-Oct-09 13:36:09

Not a problem. The vendor's solicitor should have consent to sign the contract on behalf of his client - ask to see this if possible. The contract binds the vendor but the personal responsibilty bit means the solicitor can't be forced to sell the property if the vendor doesn't. However you should ask your solcitor to explain this and confirm it's all ok - that is what you are paying him/her for!

globex Fri 02-Oct-09 13:36:13

Thank you young visiter - I felt so bad about writing that!

Why are people so strange?! My solicitor is 'very concerned' but he always is. And they've built up a real hatred between then so I suspect a lot of the trouble is them trying to irritate each other..
But then maybe they're in it together - its all billable in the end..

I'm sorry about your purchase falling through - I know how painful it is now..
What did your loons do?

Leeka Fri 02-Oct-09 13:37:42

You should be demanding answers from your solicitor for this - it is one of the things you are paying him/her for.

Phone and demand to know what is happening, if you don't understand what they are saying then ask them to explain it again, and keep asking questions until you know the exact situation.

Then tell your solicitor what you want/need to happen, and ask them what they intend to do to facilitate it for you.

The solicitor is acting on your behalf, and needs to ensure they are making happen what you want to happen, as far as is possible.

Also, if you have an estate agent, part of their job is to keep all parties informed and communicating, so phone them and get them to speak to the solicitor of the vendor to get an update - when they phone you back with the update, tell them if it is not what you want to hear and get them working to keep the deal on track!

Good luck! (I'm an ex-estate agent, by the way!)

theyoungvisiter Fri 02-Oct-09 13:50:46

oh my loons were just annoying - there were two sets (the people we were buying off and the people they were buying off) they just fed off each other and got more and more strange.

I think the problem in our case was both sets of vendors were rather naive and hadn't moved in years, and didn't really understand how it worked.

The people we were buying off pulled out of three purchases in a row, each time quickly finding another before we had time to worry, but then pulling out again. They also said really odd things, like when we made our offer they said "we accept, would you like to move in the 3rd week of June?" This was in late May and they hadn't even found a property to buy hmm We were keen to move asap but needless to say they hadn't even got a property under offer by that stage so no prospect of getting things under way.

When they finally stopped pulling out of purchases (September time), and found one they liked, they managed (somehow) to irritate their vendors so much that they pulled out on the day of purchase, citing no reasons and refusing to accept more money or anything - just saying they didn't want these people living in their house. shock

After wasting 6 months on this the rest of the chain quietly went bonkers and gave up.

globex Fri 02-Oct-09 13:53:45

The problem is that I don't know what is 'legal' and what isn't. Is it a big deal to have the solicitor sign and not the vendor with no proof that this is okay? I don't know - my solicitor says it is but people on here say its fine.

Also the solicitors HATE each other. I'm sure most of the pain has been through them winding each other up - not sending through documents, sending documents with missing pages, not informing us about the vendors two week holiday during the first proposed completion date.. I'm worried that mine is getting petty but on the other hand I don't want to take any shortcuts and get burned later..

As for the estate agent - he thinks I am an hysterical woman.

globex Fri 02-Oct-09 13:55:27

"When they finally stopped pulling out of purchases (September time), and found one they liked, they managed (somehow) to irritate their vendors so much that they pulled out on the day of purchase, citing no reasons and refusing to accept more money or anything - just saying they didn't want these people living in their house."

That is hilarious! What an amazing way to irritate someone...

WorkInProgress Fri 02-Oct-09 14:09:19

You have to be advised by your solicitor.If he isn't OK with it - ask him to tell you what would be acceptable and to get this from the other side. If you think he is mucking around then complain about him- there should be someone in the practice to complain to.

LSEE Fri 02-Oct-09 18:59:40

TBH your experience sounds fairly typical of residential solicitors (sorry to generalise if anyone on here is one). I'm a solicitor (totally different practice area) and it's only because of that that I was able to see through a lot of the cr*p I got when we bought our house.

Ultimately as others have said it is for your solicitor to advise you on the legality of this, and him you would sue if he gets it wrong. I'd just tell him politely but firmly to sort it out with the other side and get a binding contract out of them asap. Personally I wouldn't complain about him until this is sorted as you may just make the situaton worse (not exactly fair, I know, but practical....).

As an aside I suspect that the "without personal liability/responsiblity" is just intended to ensure that the solicitor isn't personally liable as a result of signing the contract, i.e. he has just signed on behalf of his client and isn't bound to the contract himself - which is what you'd expect.

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