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No deeds for proerty yet after nearly 20 years

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  • No deeds for proerty yet after nearly 20 years

    There has been an issue with person whom my parents bought the land off to build their house. We have lived in the house for 17 years and spent 2 years building it before that. They still do not have the signed deeds to the land and the transfer papers. It complicated but my father bought the land ‘cash’ from his building friend. They have the plans showing exactly what we own. The previous owner, who was a friend and was also a neighbour once house was built for over 10 years and so was well aware of house the land around our house which plans show we own was being used and maintained.

    Subsequently, father and said neighbour (let’s call MM) had a falling out. For the past few years (4-5 ) he has refused to sign the Deeds to our house and Transfer Papers, this is now being dealt with through solicitors. His demands for the past 3 years were that my parents paid his solicitors fees, which although initially they refused they have eventually agreed to pay and submitted the funds via their solicitor to his just last year. All resolved you would think….read on….

    At this point I must mentioned that my parents original solicitor did not do his job and my mum had to go the law society with a complaint – he never responded to letters for at least 6 months, we were constantly chasing him to act etc etc. He eventually held his hands up, admitted his fault in resolving this matter and waivered his fee. He then retired. So now another solicitor from the same firm is having to continue with this case for free. Not at all our fault but it does mean that they are not happy about having to work on this matter.

    Yesterday, note after almost 5 years of this dragging on, my mum got a letter from her solicitor saying that MM had been in touch with her directly (telephone) and that he now disputes what my parents actually own and although he wants the matter resolving he will only do this through the solicitors and that he wants another £500 plus VAT from my parents for his legal costs. My parents solicitors advises them to do this. Mum called the solicitor, very upset as you can imagine that no one is fighting in their corner, and solicitor said yes it must be hard. Rather then, Mrs O, we are in your corner!! I see that as she had a call of demand from the person her client is fighting and came to us with the demand…who’s best interests is she acting on there?

    This could literally drag on and on, clearly, previous owner and neighbour have nothing to lose and also nothing to gain (they are being spiteful) although if he goes on to dispute the area we park cars on he could demand we buy it from him?! and my parents after almost 20 years still don’t have deeds to their own land. My father is beyond the age of retirement and still working in the building industry and the sale of this gorgeous house and land is there only source of income for retirement years, They will be needing to sell up in the next few.

    Please does anyone know where they stand on this ?
    Should they go to court or just pay up ( they really can’t afford to) and if they did would MM simply make more demands?
    Should they make a complaint against their solicitor?
    Can MM be made by court order to sign the papers?

  • #2
    Re: No deeds for proerty yet after nearly 20 years

    These circumstances raise so many issues and potential issues that a constructive reply in this forum really is not possible

    I suggest you arrange to seek advice from another solicitor, setting out all the circumstances and paperwork. You may well be able to get (say) an hour's advice free or for a fixed fee

    Good luck!
    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

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