Not what you bargained for?

So you’ve instructed solicitors or conveyancers to buy a property either for residential or commercial purposes and the purchase completes without difficulty. But what if, a few weeks after moving in, your neighbour approaches you to explain that they have a right in relation to your property that you had not been aware of? What if the council approaches you to explain that you do not have planning permission to operate your business from your commercial premises?

What do you do then?

Well, first of all check the paperwork that you received from your legal representatives who assisted you with the purchase. Did they advise you about that right of way or about that planning issue that would prevent you using the premises for the purpose that you bought them? In short, do you feel the standard of care that they provided to you fell below the standard that could reasonably have been expected of them?

If they did fail to advise you or if they advised you incorrectly, then consider what you would have done had they advised you appropriately. Would you have carried on with the purchase at the same price in any event? Alternatively, would you have gone back to the seller and negotiated on price with them or would you have simply walked away from the deal?

If you would have acted differently had you known about the issues then you may be entitled to claim damages against your adviser for any loss that you have suffered as a result of the poor advice.

The measure of your loss should be the damages needed to put you in the position you would have been in had you been properly advised. How that loss is calculated will depend on the particular circumstances of your case. For example, if you have bought an asset which turns out to be worth less than you believed because of a defect that should have been discovered by your adviser then the court will often assess the loss as being the difference between the price paid and the true market value of the asset.

If the asset did not have much value but you have had to incur significant costs in extricating yourself from whatever difficulties the negligence caused then the claim is more likely to be for the costs incurred in resolving the situation, rather than a claim for loss in value.

Whatever the situation, if you do find yourself in the situation where you feel that your advisers have failed to properly then please do not hesitate to contact our Rob Synnott on 01736 362362 or for some straight-talking advice on your options and how we may be able to assist.

Comments are closed.