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Selling a property with a charge on it placed by a Solicitor

My mother is a pensioner and has been going through probate since the death of her mother in 2003. Currently my mother is renovating the property she has inherited to ready it for sale which my mother is looking to sell before September 2013, which her Solicitor is fully aware is happening and the property has no mortgage on it as my grandparents paid it in full before their deaths. She instructed a Solicitor in 2005 to deal with all the details of the probate and has signed agreed terms with her Solicitor to pay the fees in full upon completion and sale of the house, however now the Solicitor wants to place a charge on the property and is forcing my mother to sign an RX1 form. Any advice would be most appreciated as wouldn't a charge on the property hinder the sale of the property and can her Solicitor do this, considering what was agreed and signed at the initial instruction of the Solicitor?

Asked on May 31 2013, Selling in London | Report content

Answers (5)

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  • Hi, First things first. I wonder why the solicitor wants to place an official charge on the property? If she has signed terms that state she is to pay all fee's on completion then a charge should not be placed against the property, surely? Secondly, a charge doesn't mean you are not able to sell the home. It simply means that the purchaser's solicitor would want proof that the charge is going to be paid/transferred away upon exchange of contracts. SO proof of this will need to be given by your solicitor. Mark

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    Answered on Jun 3 2013, Report content
  • Hi Mark, Thank you for your advice and help, so the charge will need to be taken off before any proceeds from the sale of the house and deeds exchange hands ? Therefore would I be right in saying that the solicitor's fees would need to be paid in full before full sale of the property ergo breaching the terms the solicitor has with my mother. Not too sure why the solicitor is wanting this charge to be applied as the property is due to placed on the market this summer. Cherif

    Answered on Jun 3 2013, Report content
  • Hello again, Any charges against a property will be written into the contract that upon completion the proceeds of the sale will pay for the charge/s. If you have agreed that solicitors fees are paid in full before the completion then yes, that would be the case. But it sounds like the solicitor is actually putting his fees as a charge against the home, so when it completes (moving day) he then takes his fees from the remaining equity. Still finding it strange that a solicitor places a charge on the property for his fees though... He must feel very uneasy about being paid... Hope this helps! Mark

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    Answered on Jun 4 2013, Report content
  • Hi Mark, Thank you so much for the help. The Solicitor has always known that the fees will be paid to her upon completion of sale and has signed an agreement as such with my mother, also upon completion of sale my mother has agreed that the cheque/monnies will be directed to the solicitor who will be able to take out her solicitor's fees and with that deduction being made the solicitor will forward the rest of the proceeds to my mother. So there has never been anything untoward throughout this whole situation in dealing with the solicitor. My worry is that the solicitor is trying to add to her fees by creating extra work that is necessary by placing this charge. So when the contracts of sale are drawn up it would need to be stipulated as a term that the fees of my mother's solicitor shall be paid in full by my mother from the proceeds of the sale to take away the charge and to avoid the charge being transferred to the buyer. Is that correct? Cherif

    Answered on Jun 4 2013, Report content
  • Hi Sherif Yes, you are right, anything like that would need to be put in writing as you say. It's just very strange for a solicitor to place a charge to gain there fee. For example 99% of the time the solicitor agrees fees with client for example; how much and when they are payable. This is then signed by the client and the mater progresses. Good luck with it and if you need any other advice I'm often found on Twitter to! @AskMeProperty Thanks Mark

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    Answered on Jun 5 2013, Report content

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