Area of law: Residential conveyancing
Complaint reason(s): Failure to advise, failure to keep informed
Remedy: No remedy
Outcome: Ombudsman’s decision rejected by complainant
Mrs Y and her partner were very excited first time buyers, and used the firm to help them purchase a new property. The house was a repossession, and so was being sold ‘as seen’, with limited knowledge available.
The firm wrote to Mrs Y with the information they had managed to get on the property and the searches they had carried out. They included a form that asked Mrs Y and her partner to confirm they were happy with the information given and that the plans accurately represented the property. They signed the form and the sale went ahead.
Mrs Y and her partner lived there for a number of months, before putting the house back on the market. They initially had a buyer, but when this fell through, the house was sold at auction.
Mrs Y and her partner complained to the firm, because they sold the house for £8,000 less than they had paid for it. They believed that this wass because the actual boundaries were different to the plans shown to them by the firm. The firm responded to the complaint, and offered £600 compensation as a goodwill gesture.
Mrs Y maintained that the plans sent to them by the firm were confusing, and the firm should have spent more time explaining these. When we investigated the matter, we saw that the plans sent to Mrs Y clearly showed the boundary lines. The firm had asked if there were any issues, but Mrs Y did not raise anything, or ask any questions. She had signed the form saying they were happy with the information and so we did not feel that the firm had offered a poor service. They had already paid compensation of £600, in recognition of Mrs Y’s distress, and so we did not feel any further remedy was due.