So, if ever you wanted proof that you cannot just pay your money over and trust that your solicitor has your best interests at heart, we saw a graphic example last week.
I will refrain from any ‘legalese’ speak in this post. I’ll keep it simple.
We were moving a lovely couple who, to be frank had @3 times the normal volume of possessions. They were moving from a large home into a much smaller dormer bungalow. Due to the volume their move was spaced over 3 days (+packing) with @80%of the volume being moved out and then held the day before moving day (completion day). This was so they could have a nice swift and simple move into the new home, get settled and then everything else would arrive the day after.
Simples – as one might rationally expect a certain meercat to say.
The person moving out of the dormer bungalow decided that moving house is easy – rent a ‘truck’ get some mates………………….and then right royally *&^% it up and completely fail to be anywhere near moved out. Not just by midday, or even 2pm, but even by the following morning……
We advised our customer that they just were not going to be able to move in. They understood. In fact they’d reached that conclusion for themselves.
They asked me, a removal man what they should do. To which I told them to instruct their solicitor to serve notice to complete on the vendor. It is fairly simple. The vendor has not vacated. I informed them it is pretty basic stuff, vacant possession had not been provided and as such they can’t move in.
So, our very calm, remarkably placid customer rang his solicitor. We’ll call his solicitor ET. Nothing to do with an Alien though.
This is where it gets interesting.
Now, you would have thought that a qualified solicitor who supposedly wrote the contract that refers to providing vacant possession might have a slight inkling that in the absence of the contract terms being met………there might be an issue to get involved with. Would you not?
You might reasonably expect that when you appoint a qualified solicitor they might have the faintest clue what to do to protect their client in such an event.
Instead ‘ET’ told her client there was nothing that could be done, and effectively just deal with it. And be hundreds (nearly thousands) of pounds out of pocket.
Our customer has now written to the firm requesting clarification of what they are going to do to get him his money back. He has made them aware that he will seek to recover his losses from them if needs be.
In short, ET was either incompetent or lazy.
Either that person had naff all knowledge of their craft or couldn’t be bothered to assist their client.
The SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) exists for a reason, and so does the LO (Legal Ombudsman). The problem is that most of the public are not aware and still hold solicitors in such high regard that they are frightened to look for how to complain.
Not so now…….
It is 4th April as I type this. I will update as news becomes available.