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Outgoing/Incoming freehold liability for outstanding repairs

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  • Outgoing/Incoming freehold liability for outstanding repairs

    I am a joint freeholder in a 2 flat building. Just before Xmas me and the other freeholder instructed a surveyor to investigate and advise on a large crack in the flank wall. I am in the upstairs flat which in affected more with damp more than the bottom flat. We have quotes from builders and were due to start work in the spring.
    In the meantime the other freeholder has put her flat on the market and has an offer. She has assured me that she would pay her buyer her 50% share of the outstanding works based on the quotes we have from the builders. Her solicitor has sent me a freehold transfer deed to sign with a indemnity clause absolving her of any responsibilities after her completion and also advised me that she has reduced the price of the flat by the same amount as her share the works for the new buyer and that he is aware of the outstanding works. Could this be viewed as a simple price reduction?
    Would this oblige the new owner to do the works in the same timeframe with the same quote?
    I have asked for the sum to be held by the solicitor in a client account so that I'm not exposed to delay or further debates but for some reason they don't want to do that. Do I have to sign the Transfer Deed before this issue is solved?

  • #2
    Re: Outgoing/Incoming freehold liability for outstanding repairs

    Unless there is deed of trust obliging you to sign a transfer deed I would hold out and not sign unless they sort out a way of making sure the money for the works are paid.
    RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
    As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Outgoing/Incoming freehold liability for outstanding repairs

      Many thanks.
      The solicitor has told me that in any case she could only release the money to the buyer and no one else so its the same as deducting it from the sale. Is this correct or can they stipulate that the money should be placed in a clients account to be paid out to the builders? I do appreciate your replies.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Outgoing/Incoming freehold liability for outstanding repairs

        Your concern is that the buyer buys the flat cheaply and won't have the money to pay for the works when they are done.

        So I don't think it is unreasonable that the buyer deposits with his solicitor a sum to cover the cost of the works which the solicitor undertakes to hold and release to your builder on production of proper invoices as long as the work is done within a reasonable period - say 1 year.

        If the works are not done in that time the solicitor won't want to have the money hanging around on his accounts so should then be able to give it back to his client at the end of that time. You only release the signed TR1 to the seller's solicitor if the buyer's solicitor gives you a personal undertaking to hold the money.
        RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
        As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Outgoing/Incoming freehold liability for outstanding repairs

          Thank you. I will ask for that as I really don't think it is unreasonable. I don't have access to the buyer so I presume I should do that via the other freeholder's solicitor. This is much appreciated.

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          • #6
            Re: Outgoing/Incoming freehold liability for outstanding repairs

            I have managed to find the name of the buyers solicitor. Is it protocol to contact the solicitor directly myself to ask for the buyer to deposit his share for the works with him or at least to get a letter that he will agree to doing the works within six months? Would that be okay or do I need a solicitor myself?
            Many thanks for a reply.

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            • #7
              Re: Outgoing/Incoming freehold liability for outstanding repairs

              I would write to both seller's and buyer's solicitors explaining your requirements.
              RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
              As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Outgoing/Incoming freehold liability for outstanding repairs

                Thank you for your reply. The seller's solicitor has agreed to put a clause in the contract saying ''the buyer accepts the quote and to pay one half of the costs of the works set out therein." No mention of the timeframe though. Is this sufficient? (They are still not addressing my requests for the money to be deposited).
                I appreciate your reply.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Outgoing/Incoming freehold liability for outstanding repairs

                  Go back to them and say you won't sign the TR1 in respect of the freehold unless they make the arrangements you have suggested.
                  RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
                  As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Outgoing/Incoming freehold liability for outstanding repairs

                    Thank you for your reply. I have just received a letter from the seller's solicitor saying that if this delay goes on she will seek her legal costs and if she looses her sale she will take legal action against me.
                    Is this scare tactics or can she do that?
                    Many thanks for the reply.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Outgoing/Incoming freehold liability for outstanding repairs

                      It would cost the seller a lot to go to court.

                      Write to the solicitor and ask to explain the legal basis for such a claim.

                      From your point of view as long as it is clear that the buyer knows about the likely building costs he can't complain later if he has to pay for them, so it is really up to him to protect himself against his seller.
                      RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
                      As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

                      Comment

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