IAM SOLD property auctions
Property Investment

Jonathan Short
Jonathan Short
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1 Posts
1 month ago
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Having recently suffered an appallingly executed transaction through IAM SOLD/Medway solicitors I thought I should write and warn NRLA/my fellow landlords about their process.

Having agreed a purchase price on a property and paid the £6300 deposit/legal pack costs I was treated to a number of what I would describe as ‘whoop whoop’ emails celebrating the process they were making with the transaction. The third or fourth of these emails was sent to my solicitor ‘chasing’ confirmation of receipt of contract documents a week after they were sent. My solicitor responded to confirm they had been received and within two days they had actually sent various enquiries to the vendor’s solicitors Medway………so, we were waiting for them…….and we waited……and we waited. All the initial urgency from the seller’s side had evaporated.

A week before completion was due (as per their auction T&Cs) they stopped responding to my solicitor’s phone calls and emails. I could also not reach them. I ended up visiting their offices which happen to be based close to where I live. Having parked myself in reception I did eventually manage to speak with someone. It turned out they had just ‘discovered’ a mortgage was registered against the property at the Land Registry….oops. In addition apportionments had not been calculated and sent to us. Despite chasing by my solicitors there was simply no communication coming back.

The completion date came and went.

I asked my (conveyancing) solicitor what my options were. He advised that I could pull out of the deal as the date for completion had passed but I would probably forfeit my £6300 deposit. Really, I found this hard to believe so I asked if the litigation partner at the same firm could look at the T&Cs and confirm the position?

In summary:

Clause 1.3 of the attached Agreement states that the Reservation fee is not refundable to a buyer except if the Seller withdraws from the sale during the Reservation period. In all other circumstances, the Buyer agrees that the Reservation fee shall not be repaid to the buyer. The Seller is not withdrawing from this sale as matters stand and on the face of the agreement can keep the reservation fee.

This is a deliberately ‘one sided’ contract but one that if we start making threats in relation to is likely to end up in the loss of the £6,000 you paid at auction.

THIS IS WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT FOR OTHER MEMBERS TO BE AWARE OF. ESSENTIALLY THE SELLER COULD, ONCE THE RESERVATION PERIOD IS OVER, PULL OUT OF THE TRANSACTION AND THE DEPOSIT WOULD BE KEPT. THIS IS VERGING ON A SCAM.

All the best

Jonathan Short

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