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Size & dimension not in Contract

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  • Size & dimension not in Contract

    I am purchasing a 2 bedroom flat from Barratt off-the-plan due to be completed June 2010. Contracts are due to be exchanged soon.
    The Contract for Sale does not include:
    • Flat size
    • Dimensions
    • No mention of 2 bathroom
    • Fittings e.g. Oven, fridge, stove, dish washer, toilet, shower, sinks

    My solicitor (recommended by Barratt) is telling me that it is 'normal' not to have the above included in the Contract. He also says that it is likely that the above will not be included.
    Is this true?
    I find this unacceptable.
    I can accept clause of 5% variation of flat size / dimensions. But surely we must have a base case size of flat included in the contract?

    £115.00 developers solicitors costs of producing an engrossment of the
    Lease and the plans - Do we as purchasers have to pay for this?

    I hope someone out there will be able to help with my queries.


  • #2
    It is common not to have a detailed specification in the contract, but instead for the spec to be available at the site office

    The contract should include a copy of the draft lease, which should have a Land Registry compliant plan identifying the location and extent of the flat. This should, therefore, be sufficient to specify the layout and size of the flat.

    Such contracts often have a clause entitling the builder to make minor variations to the spec and/or the layout, but you should check this carefully to ensure it does not give the builder too much scope

    I would certainly insist on written details of fittings etc; if not in the contract itself, then in the pre-contract information, with the contract including a warranty that the pre-contract information is accurate

    As to paying for the engrossment of the lease, etc: this practice is very common, I'm afraid. In effect, it is a way for the solicitors to claw back from the buyer some of the discount on fees they gave the builder to get the work. Personally, I think it is wrong in principle, but in practice most buyers give in because they want to secure the property

    I hope this helps
    Last edited by JustinN; 12-07-2009, 11:29 AM.
    This is based on my experience as a conveyancing solicitor in England, but I do not accept liability for information I give in this forum


    • #3
      Does the agreement have an 'entire agreement clause' or make reference to other documents?


      • #4
        You really should be using a solicitor unconnected with the seller - your solicitor should have your interests as priority - representing seller and buyer represents a potential conflict of interest, but is a tactic used by some developers to push bad contracts through.


        • #5
          I don't think one solicitor is representing both builder and buyer - thit would be in clear breach of the Code of Conduct. I think Barratts have recommended a particular solicitor as having dealt with this type of transaction before, and there is nothing inherently wrong in this, as long as the buyer can choose a different solicitor is he or she wants to

          You are right that, despite being recommended by Barratts, the buyer's solicitor should have the buyer's interests at heart, and I have seen nothing to suggest otherwise

          I would expect the buyer's expressed concerns to be allayed by having a copy of the lease plan as part of the contract and including details of the fittings, etc in the contract itself or in pre-contract information which should then be warranted as true in the contract
          This is based on my experience as a conveyancing solicitor in England, but I do not accept liability for information I give in this forum


          • #6
            No problem, that sounds better - I've certainly read about some developments where the solicitor is an effective contractor for the developer, and hence is looking to represent the developer interests first.


            • #7
              I'd be more concerned as to whether (a) the flat will be worth the money being paid for it by the time it is completed in June 2010 and (b) if a mortgage is required, that there is an offer which lasts that long.
              RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
              As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.