Moving house is one the biggest events in our lives and can be difficult enough without finding out that that the house you have bought isn’t everything you hoped for. If this happens we can guide you through the process of seeking redress from your solicitor or conveyancer.
The most common issues we advise about are:
- Problems with access and parking. Where the conveyancer fails to ensure that the buyer has the necessary rights to get to and from the property and to be able park a vehicle.
- Problems relating to searches. This can occur where a solicitor either fails to advice a buyer to have a certain search carried out or alternatively fails to explain the significance of those searches.
- Other restrictions. Certain properties are subject to restrictive covenants which mean the owner either cannot do something (e.g. build an extension, use the property to run a business or let the property out) or can only do it with the permission of someone else. If a solicitor fails to advise about these important restrictions then this can create difficulties for a purchaser.
If any of these or other issues effecting the property arise, it can affect not only the new owner’s enjoyment of the property but also the value. If that is the case then our team can guide you through the steps you need to take to resolve the matter.
If you’d like to discuss an issue you’re experiencing, get in contact on 01924 457171 for a free, no obligation consultation.
Leasehold property issues
Over recent years a number of new build houses have been sold on a leasehold basis, with housing developers retaining the freehold. There is no reason for this save to create an additional income string for the developer. Some of these leases contain extremely landlord friendly clauses. This can cause a number of issues for the new owners including:
- The ground rent doubles every 10 years, so after 100 years a £200 a year rent would become a rent in excess of £200,000
- Buyers were often told that after two years they would be entitled to buy the freehold for a small figure. But when they come to purchase the figure quoted is sometimes between £30,000 and £40,000.
Even more concerning is that a number of lenders are now declining to lend against these properties meaning they’re almost unsellable creating what has become known as the leasehold trap.
If the buyer’s solicitors (who were often recommended by the builders) failed to explain to them the full extent of these issues and the impact that they were likely to have, then there is likely to be a potential claim.
Surveyors & Valuers
We are often asked to advise about surveyors or valuers failing to spot defects in a property. This usually relates to important issues with the structure of the property such as cracking or subsidence.
These claims often have their own individual complexities. One important issue that does arise in these cases is identifying who the surveyor has a duty of care to. It is quite often the case that a survey or report is prepared for a lender, even if the borrower pays for it.
In a standard residential purchase the surveyor’s duty does extend to the borrower but in all other circumstances, for example, a buy-to-let purchase or commercial premises it does not.
However, we may be able to recover compensation on your behalf if we can establish that:
- There is a duty of care,
- either a surveyor has significantly over-valued property or that the surveyor has missed a significant defect in the property or,
- the error means the property was worth less than the buyer paid for it
Problems relating to cavity wall installations
Over the last decade a huge number of houses have installed cavity wall insulation to improve insulation and lower heating costs. Generally, this has been a good thing. However, for some people either the treatment was unsuitable or there was an installation error which has caused more problems.
Examples of problems which have arisen are:
- Dampness & condensation caused by the water penetrating the walls.
- Mould, particularly a black brown mould which doesn’t seem to go away following wiping or redecorating.
If you have experienced any of these problems, we can work with you to ensure any errors are properly remedied and that you are fully compensated for these issues.
If you’d like to speak to our team about any issues involving your property, get in contact on 01924 457171 for a free consultation.