UK Property Law
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Could you kindly clarify what has happened to the developer please - do you mean he is insolvent and ceased trading?
the developer name is XXXXX XXXXX living and ceased trading
i wonder what options i got to get the money back
i paid £7375 to my solicitor to exchange contract
Oh dear. Thank you. The deposit you refer to, is this a reservation deposit you have paid as well or just the deposit to exchange?
When were contracts exchanged?
it is 5% deposit for 2 properties
Is the property covered by a new homes warranty - such as NHBC or Zurich for example (there are others too).
not sure. they bought the redundant mill and try to refurbish to new flat
Nothing will happen now until the sellers give me notice that the property and the sellers are ready. they will give me 10 days' notice
the last contact i got from my solicitor was on 29 June 2011
and she did not reply me
Thanks. You should be alright here though you may have to wait a little while before you can get your money back. Your solicitor is required to check that the developer is supplying a new homes warranty by an approved warranty provider such as the above and part of the cover offered by such warranty providers is an insurance policy for your deposit to guard against the seller becoming insolvent before completion (exactly what has happened here). You or your solicitor will need to consider a claim against the warranty policy in order to recover your deposit.
If you find the solicitor did not ensure that there was a warranty policy in place as above and did not advise you this was the case and explain to you the risks of this and confirm you were happy then the solicitor is likely to be negligent and you may have a claim against the solicitor however I would be most surprised if there is not a warranty in place as the developer could not hope to sell the properties without one.
If your solicitor is not replying to you you can advise that you are unhappy with her service and if you do not receive a reply you will have to make a formal complaint to the managing partner. If you are not happy with the outcome of your complain you can refer the matter the Legal Ombudsman who can independently determine the matter and if appropriate award compensation to you.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
can i get an independent lawyer to look into this?
is it worth if she choose not to reply me
if i made complaint to legal ombudsman will they help me to get back the money?
You can but you would have to pay for an independent lawyer whereas the legal ombudsmand will do much the same job but will do it for free.
The legal ombudsman can look at any complaint against a solicitor and can order them to give you compensation if they have been negligent. However my expectation would be that there will be a warranty policy in place - there certainly should be - and this being the case once you prompt your solicitor to reply to you either by complaining or otherwise you should be able to make a claim against the warranty for the return of your deposit.
one last question, how much time should i give tomy solicitor before complain to legal ob..
Initially you should raise the issue direct with the solicitor saying you are disappointed she has not responded and you hope to hear from her within say 48 hours failing which you will have to contact the managing partner to make a complaint. Step 2 is to raise a complaint formally with the managing partner. They have to send you a copy of the complaints procedure which will typically take 4-6 weeks to complete culminating usually in your being invited for a meeting to discuss the matter and the firm will then let you have their final decision in the form of a letter. If you are not satisified with their decision at that point you can refer the matter to the Legal Ombudsman
Is there anything I can help you with any further?
Many thanks for your valuable advice, I am kind of relief now
Best wishes for recovery.
hope so..have a good weekend
Many thanks - and to you.