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  • FIRST POST
    • Albertthewolf
    • By Albertthewolf 12th Apr 18, 3:10 PM
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    Albertthewolf
    Lack of Building Regulations & Defective Title Indemnity Insurance
    • #1
    • 12th Apr 18, 3:10 PM
    Lack of Building Regulations & Defective Title Indemnity Insurance 12th Apr 18 at 3:10 PM
    Dear all, I read few interesting articles concerning the advantages of indemnity insurance over a retrospective building regulations approval application. I am aware that there are precise restrictions concerning the disclosure of this specific insurance.

    My question concern when a leaseholder wants to sell a leasehold flat which has a defective title indemnity insurance due to various breaches of building regulations.

    My question is, to what parties shall the seller or his conveyance solicitor reveal that there is an indemnity insurance obtained and in place due to non-compliance with building regulations?

    Shall this information be passed directly to the purchaser by the conveyancing solicitor of the seller or will be the conveyance solicitor acting for the purchaser that will have to pass this information to the perspective buyer?

    Also, shall the details of the various breaches of building regulations passed to the seller with the defective title indemnity insurance by the purchaser's solicitor or by the seller's solicitor?

    Thanks a lot for any advise you may provide.

    Albertthewolf
    Last edited by Albertthewolf; 12-04-2018 at 3:12 PM. Reason: larger fonts
Page 2
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 17th Apr 18, 6:25 PM
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    Doozergirl
    A - No. A high % of properties are lacking PP, BCA or both. The council only know what they know. You have to ask the question to get the answer. "I want to buy Flat 1". Search is carried out on Flat 1. Council provides the search results. If there is no BCA, PP result then that is for the buyer's solicitor to start delving deeper and asking questions of the vendor.

    B - The council has to provide what it is asked for if it has it. If the building owner has turned the building into a random HMO and the council doesn't know, they don't know. Someone has to tell them. It sounds like someone's only just told them.

    C - They are legally bound to answer the questions asked by a buyer's solicitor with the truth. They don't have to reveal anything if it is not asked.

    As for informing the council, yes they should apply for relevant permissions but this is complex and can't be answered with a yes/no! The council can enforce that things are done correctly if they know about it, but then they may choose not to. It is the buyer's decision on whether to buy or not. If they take on something that the council subsequently puts an enforcement order on, then the problem belongs to the buyer.

    I still don't think you're helping yourself here. People often come here looking for the answer to one question but because they need help, they don't realise that it's a different question that needs answering.

    Whatever you are asking, it isn't moving you forward. The question that needs answering is "How do I move forward".

    Are you the buyer? How many flats have you purchased? What do the Land Registry Title Plans show for each flat? Do they relate to what is there? That is the buyer's responsibility to check as they are the only one that has been to the property. Are there mortgages involved?

    If it's complex then it goes without saying that "yes" and "no" answers are impossible, especially seeing as we're being fed information at a glacial pace. There are variables. We're dealing with many different processes that culminate in a sale. Or not.

    We do this for free because we like it. I'm not particularly enjoying this as I think you aren't saying enough and we're probably wasting our time giving you irrelevant information because we don't know what we're dealing with.

    It's only complicared because you're making it so. Speak from your point of view, tell your story from your angle. We then ask the pertinent questions.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 17-04-2018 at 6:37 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 17th Apr 18, 6:28 PM
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    davidmcn
    A - If the local authority is aware that there are 9 converted homes (flats) but only 4 or 5 certificates isn't the local authority bound to pass this information to the conveyance solicitor? (or anyone who makes the request to obtain the information)

    B - Is the council legally bound to pass the correct information (data) in its records to the buyers or any member of the public who has legal and financial interest in the information?
    Originally posted by Alberthewolf
    As I've already said, the council has to make its building control records available to the public. The council is not however obliged to do anything proactive to sort out apparent discrepancies with the current layout of the building.

    C - Has the legal owner of the converted building a legal duty to inform the council or the buyers' solicitor if he/she knows the truth?
    The council - no.
    The buyers' solicitors - they've a duty not to give false answers to questions. Beyond that no. It's up to the buyers to satisfy themselves with whatever building control paperwork is provided.
    • Alberthewolf
    • By Alberthewolf 18th Apr 18, 8:27 AM
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    Alberthewolf
    Buyer beware: Caveat emptor or Caveat venditor & Uberrima fides ?!?
    Thank you Doozergirl and David,

    We appreciate your in-depth knowledge and opinions.

    Thanks to you guys the puzzle is getting a bit clearer, and the complex matter is narrowing down in smaller pieces to understand the legal responsibilities of each party involved in the legal duty to disclose information, namely the:

    1 – The seller and his solicitor,

    2 – The local authority

    3 – The legal owner of the building

    What the defective title indemnity insurance policies cover is the position a party would be in if the local authority take enforcement proceedings, which the they cannot do unless the structure is dangerous. If, however, a buyer was to approach the local authority with questions about work where there is no completion certificate, then the authority could come and inspect and to grant a certificate, they would have to check the work had been done correctly.

    In many cases this is not possible because would mean dismantling everything as they check from foundations upwards. This is why an indemnity policy will not be granted if any approach has been made to the local authority.

    I collated here some of my questions with your answers for more clarity:

    A - If the local authority is aware that there are 9 converted homes (flats) but only 4 or 5 certificates isn't the local authority bound to pass this information to the conveyance solicitor? (or anyone who makes the request to obtain the information)
    Answer: No. A high % of properties are lacking PP, BCA or both. The council only know what they know. You have to ask the question to get the answer. "I want to buy Flat 1". Search is carried out on Flat 1. Council provides the search results. If there is no BCA, PP result then that is for the buyer's solicitor to start delving deeper and asking questions of the vendor.

    B - Is the council legally bound to pass the correct information (data) in its records to the buyers or any member of the public who has legal and financial interest in the information?
    Answers: The council has to provide what it is asked for if it has it. If the building owner has turned the building into a random HMO and the council doesn't know, they don't know. Someone has to tell them. It sounds like someone's only just told them…..the council has to make its building control records available to the public. The council is not however obliged to do anything proactive to sort out apparent discrepancies with the current layout of the building.

    C - Has the legal owner of the converted building a legal duty to inform the council or the buyers' solicitor if he/she knows the truth?
    Answers: They (the legal owners) are legally bound to answer the questions asked by a buyer's solicitor with the truth. They don't have to reveal anything if it is not asked…..There is no legal duty to inform the council (…bit sceptical about this opinion though…) and (the legal owners) they've a duty not to give false answers to questions to the buyers' solicitors. Beyond that no. It's up to the buyers to satisfy themselves with whatever building control paperwork is provided.

    Coming back to us, no we are not wasting time as any bit of information which you guys are giving can help and support people in similar situations and direct them to ask the right questions.

    The complex situation that we are trying to unravel involves these factors:
    - A highly defective building with serious structural defects, most of which are latent. The external structure changed little showing almost no changes but the internal layout is totally different. The defects are latent as it is not possible to inspect the internal areas and layout as each new conversion is a private home and what’s left of the internal original roof structure is no longer accessible in neither of the two converted houses.
    - 4 or (perhaps 5 as council is not sure!) Completion certificates granted before all major alteration works were done without informing the local council that other conversion were built reaching 9 flats.
    - None of these existing certificates is a valid one due to the major alterations creating 9 unlawfully converted flats crammed within and above an altered structure with no valid planning applications. We have been informed that in such situation, new planning applications were required in law before going ahead.

    - Some of the additional conversion flats built within the original roofs adding considerable weight above the original structure of the two adjoined houses which weren’t built to support the new properties added above resulting in 9 converted flats with 8 out of 9 of these converted flats crammed in two four-storey buildings. These additional important alterations should suffice to seriously question the validity of the existing completion certificates granted before these major alteration works. What is someone built a couple of more floors with flats on Greenfel Tower?!?!

    - 9 conversions flats crammed in a structure that was originally built for two adjoined houses and whose structure was already altered by the construction of additional basement-flat conversions. Two simple ground floor plus 1st floor house which became two adjoined four storey buildings. This means a considerable number of additional internal and external pipes for water and gas added for the 9 converted flats whereas before there were only 2 houses.

    - The local authority does not hold any information on neither the altered roofs structure nor the existing main converted building after the major works. No design or construction information, no structural calculations, nothing at all. The building control has admitted that the conversions built on top of the others don’t have the required Building Control approval.

    - The local authority doesn’t have a clue as to which conversion flat was granted a building certificate in 1993 and 1994 as the internal layout has been totally changed by the subsequent major alterations.

    - In the past, many resident families wrote to the local authority informing of serious hazards as their homes are constantly flooded by defective roofs (whose structure is not possible to inspect other than with expensive invasive ‘surgery’) and by many of the defective, intricate and crammed number of internal water pipes (which cannot be accessed other than with expensive invasive ‘surgery’) due to the fact that they are serving many more new homes (9 some of which with two toilets) whereas before there were only two houses.

    - The ongoing and unstoppable flooding has been affecting the equally crammed and intricate electric wiring circuitss in the entire building for years causing considerable concerns due to fire hazards. This in addition to mould infestations and a fire risk increased by the fact that there is no easy access to some of the flats built in the crammed structure and no fire escape routes or stairs.

    With this scenario in mind, how can an unaware perspective buyer ask the right questions if the key defects are latent, if no one reveals the existence of indemnity insurance and the lack of building regulations and it is not possible to inspect the building properly?

    How can any buyer make the right questions and investigations unless they are informed about the existence of indemnity insurance and the lack of building regulations?

    Given that some the converted properties do not exist on the public authority records and plans and that the legal owners and the local council must be aware of the truth what details should be disclosed to the perspective buyers and who should disclose them?
    Last edited by Alberthewolf; 18-04-2018 at 8:46 AM.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 18th Apr 18, 9:05 AM
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    davidmcn
    I think we've already answered your questions, really.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 18th Apr 18, 9:33 AM
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    Doozergirl
    Well, that's as clear as mud.

    You have a leaky roof. It needs fixing. That is a key issue and it knocks on to other things. The longer you leave it, the more is affected. The saying is true. A stitch in time saves nine (flats).

    There are houses up and down the country converted into flats, guest houses, HMOs. There's plenty of room in voids for pipes and cables. Nothing else goes in the void. I suspect that foundation issues are a red herring. Electrics can be checked for safety without uncovering everything.

    Buyers have every opportunity to check the quality of a building, the layout of a flat according to the land registry documents, completion certifiactes for conversion - particularly those "loft apartments". There is the opportunity for surveys and for electrical testing. Lenders expect quite stringent checks themselves and having a mortgage provides some protection to buyers to ensure that they are carrying out due diligence. Cash purchasers can bypass all the checks that a mortgage company deems necessary.

    If it is so bad, lenders would not be lending. If people are taking out indemnity policies then they *need* to satisfy themselves that the building is structurally sound before purchasing one. Indemnity policies are a paperwork exercise. Someone's potentially just invalidated one or many by getting the council involved in something that was ultimately their own responsibility to check that what they were buying was sound.

    The flats that do have completion certificates probably are compliant. There are building regulations that specifically apply to flats and at the time that they were inspected, everything must have been present. That includes measures in communal areas to sign off one flat. That is the area that they may not comply to now if additional measures needed to be taken with the increase.

    If additional flats are then created without the council's knowledge and with no planning or building control, there is nothing they can do. But at some point in conveyancing, there is going to be a discrepancy between the number of flats in a building and the number with planning permission. In order to have planning permission for a conversion there has to be paperwork creating a certain number. If there is a discrepancy, it has to be investigated.

    Ultimately, this roof needs fixing. There are flats up and down the country that were converted before the introduction of regulations. They are *woefully* inadequate compared to building regulations in virtually every way and they sell and change hands every single day. And people live happily in them.

    If there is a problem presenting itself then it needs to be tracked back and dealt with. First of all, the roof needs fixing. It leaks. It's not about finding blame for it - it's over 20 years since conversion and the roof is probably a great deal older than that even if it had some insulation inserted etc. with the conversion.

    Your problem is a practical one of repairs and getting them organised and paid for by the leaseholders. It is not going to be solved by everyone sitting with their backsides on their hands wondering who to blame.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 18th Apr 18, 9:38 AM
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    Doozergirl
    This "latent defect" thing is ridiculous. Most of the country's property doesn't meet regulations. Most of the period housing stock in this country has latent defects that never seem to have any impact until they are uncovered during renovations. They may not have caused a larger problem in a person's lifetime.

    If you have symptoms of a problem, uncover it. Then it isn't latent anymore.

    The roof leaks, you can't see where from. The problem is latent. Uncover it, fix it. Someone's electrics don't work properly. Stop the leak first, isolate the problem circuit, fix it. Evidence of a water pipe leak? Stop the roof leaking first, see if the problem subsides. If it doesn't, uncover the area, fix it.

    If the exterior walls are cracking, contact insurers or employ a structural engineer. Is the property moving? If it is, why is it moving?
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 18-04-2018 at 9:42 AM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 18th Apr 18, 10:15 AM
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    the_r_sole
    I really don't understand why the op cannot and will not say what their purpose is here - it's too frustrating to bother adding anything to, well done doozergirl for your patience!
    • Alberthewolf
    • By Alberthewolf 18th Apr 18, 10:52 AM
    • 15 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Alberthewolf
    Every story and each case has its own unique course of events
    To Doozergirl, thanks a lot for all your advises, opinions and knowledge, much of what you wrote is completely accurate and useful.

    To Dozeergirl, yes, you are a treasure of patience and good knowledge, thanks so much for every opinion. We are reading your response and trying to come out with a full picture for with right questions, but believe us, is not simple!

    Every story and each case has its own unique course of events and our matter is unique due to an unfortunate combinations of many combined factors that made the situation a lot worst than any possible forecast.

    We will come out with the right questions after understanding the complexity of this matter. Our situation has been a life-changing experience and nightmare which we are trying to remedy.....Will write back soon with a more complete scenario.

    I really don't understand why the op cannot and will not say what their purpose is here - it's too frustrating to bother adding anything to, well done doozergirl for your patience!
    Originally posted by the_r_sole
    To any other reader, please there is no need to be frustrated or reply unless you wish so. Patience is the key to resolve many troubles. Bless you all anyway.
    • Alberthewolf
    • By Alberthewolf 18th Apr 18, 4:58 PM
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    Alberthewolf
    The background of our case
    The background of our property.

    The lenders can require quite stringent checks but in our case the conveyancer acted for both parties (buyers & lenders) and we found out much later that he revealed key material facts (such as the indemnity insurance and the defective title) only to the lenders and not to us.

    In our case we learnt (much later) that it was the seller who took out an indemnity policy but no mention was reported to us about this key info from our solicitor during our conveyance.

    We don’t know what information our conveyancer was provided for by the local council in regard to the lack of completion certificates.

    As mentioned before in this post, we found out much later that the local authority does not hold any information on neither the altered roofs structure nor the existing main converted building after the major works. No design or construction information, no structural calculations, nothing at all. The building control has admitted that some of the conversions built don’t have the required Building Control approval but doesn’t have a clue as to which conversion flat was granted a building certificate after the subsequent major alterations.

    At the time of our structural survey, our surveyor briefly suggested that our conveyance solicitor check that the conversion to flats obtained full building regulation approval but neither the conveyancer nor the council are willing to disclose to us what information (?) the council provided to him.

    If all was legally okay, why no one wants to make a frank disclosure of what information the council provided to our conveyance solicitor?

    Our surveyor and us could not possibly inspect the other converted flats (families homes) or ‘cut’ the roof to inspect the internal parts without this key information and the need to do so. Had we been informed we would have made further enquiries and research before to satisfy ourselves that the building was structurally sound before purchasing our leasehold flat.

    We discovered (much later) that our conveyance solicitor was fully aware of the existence of a defective title indemnity insurance from the seller’s solicitor but he did not report it to us.

    The defective title indemnity insurance we discovered recently states (with a subject access request -SAR- to our former conveyance solicitors) that the seller and the insured successors in title including mortgagees, lessees and charges to the property are all bound by the terms of the policy.

    But how could we ever rely on this policy if no one disclosed it to us prior to the purchase? We discovered this policy by chance among the mountain of papers we received via the SAR.

    In our case it was not possible to inspect the internal areas directly under the roofs as each new conversion is a private home and what’s left of the internal original roof structure is no longer accessible in neither of the two converted houses. The only property we inspected was our converted leasehold flat but at the time of our inspection there was no leaks and all was recently redecorated which would have covered the defects inside our home-to-be (hence latent).

    The leaks started 3 weeks after we moved in and went on no-stop for 10 years.


    As for most bank’s mortgage manager the main driving force and interest is to sell the product, namely the mortgage and other ancillary products such as insurance, etc. and they are not always interested in carrying out due diligence in structural matter for small properties as far as the mortgage repayments are paid back.

    Yes, in our case there is a leaky roof. The legal owner of the building (freeholder) neither disclosed that the defective roofs were awaiting impending repairs since 6 years before we purchased our lease nor that there are no completion certificates covering all the converted flats and that no one knows anymore which flat was covered which was built without certificate and with no planning application.

    All the major alterations with more flats built were made after the current legal owner acquired the building soon after the initial certificates were issued.

    The foundation issues in our case were and still are a red herring as the local council doesn’t have any information after the unlawful conversion which altered the building.

    Our home has been constantly flooded with water for ten years. We have been unable to rent or sell due to the severity and frequency of the water ingress. (waterfalls).

    It is unclear to us who among the legal owner, our conveyance solicitor, the council or our surveyor has failed to pass the correct information.

    Who should disclose us the truth so that we can recover at least part of our damages and how to force the disclosure?

    Any opinion and support is highly welcomed.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 18th Apr 18, 9:06 PM
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    Doozergirl
    Hang on. You used the same conveyancer (solicitor) as your vendor?!

    Can you explain this further please? Same firm or same person? Why did you use the person you did? How did you come across them? Was it the person that converted the flats (freeholder) that sold it to you or someone that bought the one flat before you?

    Are you in the roof or not? Do you have a mortgage?

    Did you speak to your solicitor when the problems started? What did they say?

    Now you're telling a story and now I'm asking the questions. I'm not going to pretend - I may need some help from other forum members once you answer this lot, I don't know everything! Please be thorough in your answers.

    By the way, the mortgage salesperson is there to do exactly that, nothing else. It is your solicitor's job to satisfy the lender that the property forms good security for a *loan*. They are lending you money, not taking the responsibility of the building.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 18-04-2018 at 9:12 PM.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 18th Apr 18, 10:25 PM
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    davidmcn
    If this all came to light ten years ago, you're probably out of time to do anything legal about it.
    • Alberthewolf
    • By Alberthewolf 19th Apr 18, 10:29 AM
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    Alberthewolf
    Any advise or opinion is welcomed
    Hang on. You used the same conveyancer (solicitor) as your vendor?!

    Can you explain this further please? Same firm or same person? Why did you use the person you did? How did you come across them? Was it the person that converted the flats (freeholder) that sold it to you or someone that bought the one flat before you?
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    From the mountain of papers I got via the subject access request I found out (much later) that the lenders appointed the same conveyance solicitor that we appointed and he acted for both us and the lenders. The conveyance solicitor was appointed by the other person who purchased the lease together with me with a joint-mortgage.

    Save for providing my signature when required to do so, I had no involvement whatsoever during the whole conveyance and purchasing process with neither the conveyancer nor the structural engineers or the lenders.

    All the conveyancing, structural surveying and mortgage papers were arranged by the other person who purchased the lease with me. They provided conveyance and structural report to the other person. The only document I was given at the time of my conveyance is the conveyance report.

    Did you speak to your solicitor when the problems started? What did they say?
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    I never had any interaction with our conveyance solicitor until when many years later I discovered by mere chance all the truth about the lack of compliance with building regulations after contacting the council's planning dep to arrange a possible sale.

    It was then that I begun questioning and demanded all the conveyance documentation and learnt that the solicitor acted for both parties concealing from me the existence of the indemnity insurance policy and much more than that. Defective title, no compliance with building regulations, defective lease with crucial missing pages (the pages regarding the freeholder obligation to repair the roofs is missing, not even the land registry has these missing pages...), the lenders refused to provide me with a copy of the lease and any other document they received from our conveyancer. Same as the council, the lenders and the owner of the building.

    After I went through the papers from our solicitor I begun questioning the other person who purchased the flat with me asking what info was given by the conveyancer and by the structural surveyor he appointed. I was met with silence. This person is also refusing to say what info was given during the conveyance and still refusing to make any comment.

    Are you in the roof or not? Do you have a mortgage?
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    After I begun questioning the joint-owner of my home, the other person started to send people trying to evict me by force to force the sale of the property (my home) after I started questioning. I had to call the 999 several times to ask for help.

    I then tried to cooperate for a possible sale and provided a copy of my home key to the estate agents appointed by the other person to cooperate in achieving a prospective sale of the property.

    Soon after, few days later, I came back home and found the lock was changed. I had been duped into handing over the keys and there had never been any intention of letting me have the flat back. I am without a home since then.

    I am disheartened and discouraged. Any advise or opinion is welcomed. Thank you for your patience.
    • pinklady21
    • By pinklady21 19th Apr 18, 12:00 PM
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    pinklady21
    It is far from unusual for the same solicitor to work for both buyer and lender during a house purchase.

    From what you now say, you are a joint owner - but of what - the whole building? A single flat in the building? A leasehold, or freehold?

    You signed off on the purchase - when - 10 years ago? without looking at any papers?

    You have now been locked out of what? Again, is that the whole property? a single flat within the building?

    I am having great difficulty understanding what your issue really is here.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 19th Apr 18, 12:33 PM
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    Doozergirl
    What?

    I told you that I expect people to be asking the wrong questions and that the real problem isn't what they're asking questions about, but when someone's asking about what info a council has to provide, I don't expect it to turn into a situation where you're actually homeless?!

    If you're putting your name on the deeds of a property then it is your responsibility to do the due diligence ensuring that what you are purchasing is of sufficient quality. I'm afraid that it's really your own fault that you only signed documentation and didn't do any homework. Every question we've answered actually takes us back to it being 'caveat emptor' (buyer beware) which was absolutely the law in place at that time.

    I am sorry, but your ignorance in what was happening durng conveyancing doesn't make you a wronged party, it makes you complicit.

    It's perfectly normal for your solicitor to act for you and lender. I misunderstood and thought you and the vendor had the same solicitor.

    I don't know why you'd contact the planning department when arranging a sale, either. It has nothing to do with them.

    I'm telling you now that this proerty is probably not as defective as you think it is. You would not have a mortgage with defective title, defective lease etc. The mortgage company is not complicit, they will simply refuse to lend. There are all sorts of indemnities available, but had you actually spoken to the solicitor, they would have advised you. They didn't hide anything, you didn't ask to know. I have plenty of property dealings with our solicitor without my husband being involved - it isn't the solicitor's job to decide who does what in our relationship. But they will deal with whoever asks a question.

    I don't think you have a true grasp on the process or what some of the legalese you use means. I think we have a bit of a case here of a little knowledge being dangerous.

    I'm not sure what your relationship is with the other purchaser but obviously it isn't okay that you have been locked out of a home that you own. Was it a personal relationship that broke down? It is unlawful to lock you out of your own home. There are people on this board that will know more about disputes between owners than I do but it sounds like you need some solicitor's advice on how to resolve the immediate problem of your being homeless.

    If your plan is to sell then you can force that to happen.

    I am afraid though that any recourse you think you have about the purchasing process doesn't exist. I'm not even sure if you're looking for recourse, you just seem to be asking questions with no aim to create a resolution.

    I appreciate you only have the benefit of hindsight, but you either do your own homework at the time, or you trust the other party with your life when purchasing together. It is like a financial marriage.

    I do feel for you as you seem very sweet, but you have to stand up for yourself and take decisive action on things that you can control and drop the things that you cannot.

    You can takenaction on getting back in, you could take action on repairs or you can take action on getting it sold. It sounds like your relationship has irretrievably broken down and so I think the last option is the most sensible. Whether you donthe first two is up to you.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 19-04-2018 at 12:49 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Alberthewolf
    • By Alberthewolf 19th Apr 18, 12:37 PM
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    Alberthewolf
    Ouster
    It is far from unusual for the same solicitor to work for both buyer and lender during a house purchase.

    From what you now say, you are a joint owner - but of what - the whole building? A single flat in the building? A leasehold, or freehold?
    Originally posted by pinklady21
    A converted leasehold flat

    You signed off on the purchase - when - 10 years ago? without looking at any papers?
    Originally posted by pinklady21
    I signed the purchasing papers in 2005, the other joint-owner arranged all the conveyance and structural surveys and mortgage papers acting for me as I had no experience at all on property buying.

    You have now been locked out of what? Again, is that the whole property? a single flat within the building?
    Originally posted by pinklady21
    From both my home and the building, both locks were changed without a warning
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