Leasehold Property Scandal - Solicitors Must Inform Clients Properly
When buying a house, you trust your Solicitor to advise you and act in your best interests when making the purchase. So it can be devastating to find out later on that you’re bound by onerous clauses in a lease that could make it much harder to sell the property at the price you paid for it.
Of course, your Solicitor doesn’t create these leases. But it’s their job to let their clients know what they are signing up to. That means they should be telling clients exactly what the ground rent figure is, that the ground rent is likely to increase, or that it could affect the property’s value in the future.
If your Solicitor didn’t inform or advise you on the ground rent clauses in your lease, that amounts to professional negligence on their part. It’s unreasonable for a Conveyancer or a Solicitor to expect someone to pick up a lease, which is a complicated document, and instruct clients to read certain schedules in the lease themselves, and more importantly, understand them and the implications.
Conveyancers and Solicitors must go further than that, as they are the “gatekeepers” who must ensure clients are properly informed.
We're not talking about someone who will be spending £5,000 or £10,000, which is a lot of money anyway. Many of the people who have bought these houses thought this was their dream home, but now, some of them feel that they’re sitting on a time-bomb.
Simpson Millar’s effort to raise awareness of the leasehold property clauses scandal has seen several hundred people get in touch with us for free legal advice.
We're currently working in association with the National Leasehold Campaign, click here to find out more.
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.