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    • Kaius2009
    • By Kaius2009 10th Oct 16, 11:08 AM
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    Kaius2009
    On brink of exchange - Solicitor goes on holiday without telling me?!
    • #1
    • 10th Oct 16, 11:08 AM
    On brink of exchange - Solicitor goes on holiday without telling me?! 10th Oct 16 at 11:08 AM
    So we were due to exchange 2 weeks ago last Friday, for long and boring reasons that didn't happen.


    So after a stressful 2 week wait with the odd update from my solicitor (she's been great up to now!) I gathered that we would be exchanging on Friday last, so Friday morning I email her for an update just to see if she's thinking along the lines that I am...AND I GET AN OUT OF OFFICE REPLY BACK?!


    Fuming doesn't come close. She's away until the 17th October, and our timescale all along was to complete on the 14th. But worst of all - she didn't tell me! I had literally no clue! So I called the office and was passed from pillar to post to try and find some one who knew anything, and got a man who confirms that he would be able to exvchange contracts in my Sols absence, but he's not up to speed with my case so will need to get looking into it and this and that, so he's made it nice and clear that no handover of my case was done either.....


    Does my solicitor just expect me to hang around till 17th? I have to be out of my flat by 3rd November and work needs doing on the new house AND I have 2 kids that are likely to be homeless come the 3rd if it's not all sorted - and she just POOF vanishes!

    What can I do? I'm not obviously going to do anything until I have got what I need (exchange/completed) but I think her behaviour has been totally unprofessional and I am SO angry! Shall I make a complaint against her to her Director? What would you do in my situation?


    Thanks!
Page 1
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 10th Oct 16, 11:15 AM
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    hazyjo
    • #2
    • 10th Oct 16, 11:15 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Oct 16, 11:15 AM
    First of all I'd make very sure that it was planned holiday and that someone hasn't died or she's not had to rush off somewhere.


    Secondly, I work for solicitors who often do handover notes but do still 'work' on a daily basis from their sun lounger lol. My boss has just got back after 2 weeks and he was replying to emails regularly.


    Thirdly, given all the hassle regarding moving, no I'd not be putting in a formal complaint, but that's up to you.


    Are you sure you're ready to exchange? Could she still be waiting on something? Would it really matter if you exchanged on or after 17th? It's not that near to the 3rd!


    Have you given notice at your flat, or were you served notice?


    Jx
    2016 wins: ESPA gift set; jumper; lip balm x 2; kitchen scales; perfume; shoes; theatre tickets; Champagne; books; After Eights; Diet Coke; Molton Brown duo; fish slice; travel set
    • lee111s
    • By lee111s 10th Oct 16, 11:16 AM
    • 2,469 Posts
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    lee111s
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 16, 11:16 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Oct 16, 11:16 AM
    Wait to hear back from "the man".

    Did he indicate how long it would take for him to get up to speed?
    • cloo
    • By cloo 10th Oct 16, 11:18 AM
    • 746 Posts
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    cloo
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 16, 11:18 AM
    • #4
    • 10th Oct 16, 11:18 AM
    My solicitor was away when I exchanged on my first sale, but she arranged for someone to cover; it can be got through by a colleague if planned. Hope he is able to sort out.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 10th Oct 16, 11:19 AM
    • 3,879 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 16, 11:19 AM
    • #5
    • 10th Oct 16, 11:19 AM
    What can I do?
    Originally posted by Kaius2009
    Calming down would seem a good first step...

    You've identified who is looking after your file in her absence, they're checking whether or not you're ready to exchange (presumably you weren't last Friday or it would have happened), they'll get back to you to confirm the timescales.
    • Kaius2009
    • By Kaius2009 10th Oct 16, 11:26 AM
    • 9 Posts
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    Kaius2009
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 16, 11:26 AM
    • #6
    • 10th Oct 16, 11:26 AM
    Hi thanks for the replies.


    Yes it was planned holiday, so she should have really handed it over to some one.


    'The man' literally had no idea about anything, her secretary seemed equally as clueless. We are ready to exchange, she was waiting on one thing (hence the 2 weeks since the last attempt to exchange) that we now have confirmation is all sorted.


    And yes, at my solicitors advice, we have put in notice on our flat to be moved out by 3rd November. Unfortunately there is structural work that needs doing on the house before we can move in - it'll only take a week, but I really don't want to be living in a building site when we move in.


    I'm going to be calling 'the man' shortly for an update, I'm just so frustrated that she could just leave it in the lurch like this.


    What I also worry is that my solicitor has made it clear that we have to wait 5 working days between exchange and completion - so that's another week before I can get builders in! I have also taken 2 weeks off work from the 17th under the impression I would have a house by then!


    So stressed out now - just want it all to be over.


    Thanks again.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 10th Oct 16, 12:26 PM
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    hazyjo
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 16, 12:26 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Oct 16, 12:26 PM
    And yes, at my solicitors advice, we have put in notice on our flat to be moved out by 3rd November. Unfortunately there is structural work that needs doing on the house before we can move in - it'll only take a week, but I really don't want to be living in a building site when we move in.


    What I also worry is that my solicitor has made it clear that we have to wait 5 working days between exchange and completion - so that's another week before I can get builders in! I have also taken 2 weeks off work from the 17th under the impression I would have a house by then!
    Originally posted by Kaius2009
    A predicted exchange date is always a bit iffy. That and completion is never set in stone until exchange actually happens. Your solicitor needs to give their head a wobble. It's not a good idea to give notice until you have exchanged. What if the sellers decide not to sell? Crazy.


    For those reasons, you also shouldn't have boked holiday yet - and the chances of your builders being available? Low I should imagine. Unless you have already booked them in too?


    Hmm.


    Jx
    Last edited by hazyjo; 10-10-2016 at 12:38 PM.
    2016 wins: ESPA gift set; jumper; lip balm x 2; kitchen scales; perfume; shoes; theatre tickets; Champagne; books; After Eights; Diet Coke; Molton Brown duo; fish slice; travel set
    • Rain Shadow
    • By Rain Shadow 10th Oct 16, 12:36 PM
    • 1,428 Posts
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    Rain Shadow
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 16, 12:36 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Oct 16, 12:36 PM

    What I also worry is that my solicitor has made it clear that we have to wait 5 working days between exchange and completion - so that's another week before I can get builders in! I have also taken 2 weeks off work from the 17th under the impression I would have a house by then!


    So stressed out now - just want it all to be over.


    Thanks again.
    Originally posted by Kaius2009

    Why do you have to? It certainly isn't a legal requirement afaik.
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 10th Oct 16, 12:39 PM
    • 3,718 Posts
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    glentoran99
    • #9
    • 10th Oct 16, 12:39 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Oct 16, 12:39 PM
    nope you can do both on same day if so inclined
    • Kaius2009
    • By Kaius2009 10th Oct 16, 12:49 PM
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    Kaius2009
    Yes I did think it a bit iffy, but she seemed completely confident that it would all be sorted and we would be in way before the 3rd so wouldn't be a problem. Bearing in mind we had our offer accepted 28th July, and we have no chain, and the house is empty, it's taking so LOOONGGGG!


    Apparently the 5 working day thing is instructions by the lender (Halifax) has anyone heard of this before?


    Luckily my family own a building contractors, so should be able to get the builders in as and when I need - but as you say - who knows! May well be living in a building site after all.


    Fingers crossed 'the man' is actually 'superman'!!
    'How long is a piece of string' has never been more applicable.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 10th Oct 16, 12:52 PM
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    hazyjo
    Yes I did think it a bit iffy, but she seemed completely confident that it would all be sorted and we would be in way before the 3rd so wouldn't be a problem. Bearing in mind we had our offer accepted 28th July, and we have no chain, and the house is empty, it's taking so LOOONGGGG!
    Originally posted by Kaius2009
    12 weeks is average. I've had one take 5 weeks, another 5 months.


    I don't think yours has taken a long time so far - just normal. Being empty doesn't make much difference tbh - if anything, it means the vendors may even be slower to respond/find paperwork, etc. Chain free can help, although I had a very short chain with the 5 month purchase - there were just lots of queries/problems along the way. Believe it or not, we had an investor buying and were aiming to exchange within 3-4 weeks of their offer lol!


    Jx
    2016 wins: ESPA gift set; jumper; lip balm x 2; kitchen scales; perfume; shoes; theatre tickets; Champagne; books; After Eights; Diet Coke; Molton Brown duo; fish slice; travel set
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 10th Oct 16, 12:54 PM
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    davidmcn
    Apparently the 5 working day thing is instructions by the lender (Halifax) has anyone heard of this before?
    Originally posted by Kaius2009
    Lenders need a minimum period of notice for them to send the loan funds to the solicitor. In practice the periods stated are worst case scenarios and they can often get money transferred pretty much by return. The solicitor can request money in advance of exchange, but at the risk of (you) having to pay the interest/CHAPS fees to return it if completion doesn't happen when expected.
    • 19lottie82
    • By 19lottie82 10th Oct 16, 1:03 PM
    • 5,609 Posts
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    19lottie82
    Speak to one of his colleagues, I'm sure they will be able to keep in the loop.

    I know it's stressful but I'm sure it will all be under control.

    You need to remember that although this is your main priority it won't be your solicitors! Again, il sure it will all be sorted and processed within the necessary time frame!
    • Brightspark87
    • By Brightspark87 10th Oct 16, 3:38 PM
    • 1,411 Posts
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    Brightspark87
    I had to give 5 says notice to Halifax but they did say they could pay it sooner if needs be - it just covers them!

    I wouldn't stress too much about solicitor holidays - mine did the same but as she didn't expect anything to happen whilst she was away she didn't tell us! She had left lots of info so colleague did get up to speed and sort within minutes.

    Sure you will be fine - I know its a stressful time anyhow but at least you've got all the info etc and are ready to go.
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    • Lavendyr
    • By Lavendyr 10th Oct 16, 6:36 PM
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    Lavendyr
    If it helps, this happened to us too - our solicitor also failed to tell us until we got the OOO message!

    However, our locum solicitor was brilliant - better than the one who had been acting for us. He pushed things along more efficiently, calmed me down through some stressful chain-related issues and got us exchanged and completed.

    Your first solicitor sounds a bit poor to be honest - I've never known any solicitor to advise serving notice re rental before exchange. Same re the five days thing - we had a week between exchange & completion but that wasn't for any reason other than it suited everyone best (and it is a wee bit less stressful than exchange & completion on the same day).

    Don't panic!!
    • SmlSave
    • By SmlSave 10th Oct 16, 7:47 PM
    • 4,671 Posts
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    SmlSave
    Why do you have to? It certainly isn't a legal requirement afaik.
    Originally posted by Rain Shadow
    Most lender, practically all, state that that need five working days to process the release of funds. It can be done quicker but the banks won't guarantee it and just imagine if contract was fixed and the money wasn't available!

    If money is ordered and it needs to be returned then it reflects badly on the firm of solicitors so they try not to do it.

    Very few clients are happy paying the mortgage interest if the money is sat in the solicitors back with no set completion date
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    • Rain Shadow
    • By Rain Shadow 11th Oct 16, 12:22 PM
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    Rain Shadow
    Most lender, practically all, state that that need five working days to process the release of funds. It can be done quicker but the banks won't guarantee it and just imagine if contract was fixed and the money wasn't available!

    If money is ordered and it needs to be returned then it reflects badly on the firm of solicitors so they try not to do it.

    Very few clients are happy paying the mortgage interest if the money is sat in the solicitors back with no set completion date
    Originally posted by SmlSave

    So you don't have to.
    • Kyresa
    • By Kyresa 11th Oct 16, 1:25 PM
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    Kyresa
    So you don't have to.
    Originally posted by Rain Shadow
    No, but if you want to take the risk of breach of contract and funds not being available, then that's your look out and I certainly wouldn't exchange on a "lets hope it's all ok" basis without a waiver letter from the client!!

    I'd order money then as soon as it had arrived (if it was in two days, then great) would do a simultaneous. Not exchange and hope for the best!
    • Richard Webster
    • By Richard Webster 11th Oct 16, 2:36 PM
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    Richard Webster
    And yes, at my solicitors advice, we have put in notice on our flat to be moved out by 3rd November.
    Did she really advise that? I would never have advised anyone to give notice until contracts had actrually been exchanged!
    RICHARD WEBSTER

    As a retired conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful assuming any properties concerned are in England/Wales but I accept no liability for it.
    • Kaius2009
    • By Kaius2009 11th Oct 16, 2:40 PM
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    Kaius2009
    She did indeed, I emailed her and asked her specifically, and she said yes that would be fine as we would definitely be exchanged/completed by then!


    Just heard from 'the man' - no progress. They're waiting to hear back from vendors solicitors in order to exchange. I don't want to sound like I'm undermining the work that he's doing...but would it be totally unreasonable to contact them myself? I feel like no one is quite grasping the urgency, maybe I can help them come around to my way of thinking.....?
    'How long is a piece of string' has never been more applicable.
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