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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7609
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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we have paid 15% of deposit to buy a house, and our file is

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we have paid 15% of deposit to buy a house, and our file is been completed 2 weeks ago. actually, our fee earner don't want to give us a date for the exchange of the contract. she says the seller have something to buy and we can't set a date before the end of the chain.
actually we are homeless, our notice is done.
could we exige a date of exchange as soon as possible ? what are our right after have paid the deposit?

Who have you paid the 15% deposit to - your solicitor, or the Seller?

If to the Seller, on what basis did you pay this? Written agreement perhaps...

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
we have paid the deposit to the solicitor

To YOUR solicitor, yes? Not the Seller's Solictor...

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
it is the same solicitor for us and for the seller.

Thanks for your reply.

It won’t be the same solicitor, that would be a clear conflict of interest. It wouldn’t be allowed by the Law Society. It may (may) be two solicitors acting separately within the same firm.

Deposits are payable upon exchange of contracts with the Seller, which when you become legally bound to purchase the property and when the Seller becomes legally bound to sell you the property. Until that point everything is “subject to contract” which means that you or the Seller may withdraw from the transaction for any reason (or no reason) and neither of you will have any liability to the other.

I expect what you have done is put your solicitor in funds for the deposit so that they have it there and ready when you finally are able to exchange contracts. So, you do not have any rights to compel the seller to sell you the property apart from the threat of withdrawing, which they may or may not react to.

The money is still yours, it’s just that it is held in your solicitor’s client account for you. You are entitled to the full return of it at any point before you exchange contracts.

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Kind regards,

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