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Jack Chilli

Urgent - Need Help! Any Property Lawyers Out There?

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Hi all,

This is a metter of urgency, not a wind up.

I posted last month about a mess that my brother has got into regarding him exchanging contracts on his house he thought he'd sold. He stupidly gave the keys to the buyer, who has now failed to complete, after several extending of deadlines. She basically moved in and invited into the house a couple of friends. The last deadline was up yesterday, my brother returned to the house today to move back in, on his lawyers advice. When he got there, they were all still in there. She gave him a set of keys, but wasn't going anywhere. He left the premises to get some help and advice and in the meantime got a call saying that he was going to be done for trespass from a 'friend' of hers. He then got a call saying she had suffered a heart attack and had been rushed to hospital. She's okay, but apparently was quite serious. The door has now been locked from the inside, both back and front. He's been told the police did that when she wqas taken to hospital. They have told him he can break min now though, becuase he's the owner of the property. He doesn't want to do that becuase he's worried he'll get into trouble. I've told him to get a locksmith round and change the locks - now, whilst no one is in the house (at least there's no chucking out to do). He again is worried that this will jeporadise his position legally.

Please no comments about what an idiot he was in the first place, I've gone over that a million times and he's close to a heart attack himself. Obviously, he keeps her deposit, but can anyone advise sensibly on what to do RIGHT NOW???

Would be most appreciated if there's someone out there who knows their stuff with nightmare messes like this one!!

:unsure:

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I don't know the legalities for sure. But if it were me I'd get the locks changed immediately with an emergency locksmith. Then leave a note on the door with a contact number for them to collect their belongings. But I'd also stay in the house to make sure they don't break in and change the locks again!

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All I know is that some friends of mine are being done for 'illegal eviction' when they moved back in to their flat after the tenant had failed to move out on the agreed date, even after all parties had agrred to the date. It cost them loads and couldn't get back in for 3 months nearly. The council is still going ahead with the prosecution. So even my advice to him I can't be sure about. His lawyer has been f****ing useless all along.

But I know these things just aren' cut and dried!

Sorry about the dramatic nature of this thread, if there was a solicitor to call on a saturday night, I'd/he'd be doing that but it don't work like that.

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Lawyers are not on call Saturday night - we know that ;)

But if the deadline was yesterday - why on earth wasn't a plan put in place YESTERDAY??? From this woman's previous form it was pretty clear what was going to happen.

Why don't you call the police? Couldn't this be classified as some kind of fraud?

Please stop blaming the lawyer as we all told you several weeks ago to get another one. Has this been actioned yet?

A little less talking and little more doing is the order of the day.

I really feel for you mate - but your brother has got to try and take control of this situation or it is just going to go on and on.

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Personally I'd pop around to the police station and take their advice....that is if he can't wait until speaking to a lawyer on Monday.

Thanks - that's what he's done and they said they don't see it as a problem for him to do that - but that was exactly what the police told my friend about the illegal eviction thing, above, so they really don't know. Logic doesn't seem to come into the equation. But I agree, logically, with what's been said so far here. As far as waiting for Monday, they could all be back in there by then. But it might have to I guess.

Any lawyers in??? Apparently, according to his one, she is only a 'guest' whatever that means.

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It's a totally screwed up situation way beyond accepted norms and really pushing the realms of good will, change the locks and take back possession of the house, find yourself a good conveyancing solicitor that actually knows what they're doing and sue for breach of contract and interest from the final deadline period.

Set no further deadlines, just enforce the last broken one. To be honest I'd want to find a different buyer and get shot of the place quickly.

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I would suspect that by "Guest" the lawyer is impying that they have no legal claim to tenancy of the property at all. e.g. if your mate comes round for a cuppa, there's nothing stopping you from chucking them out whenever you want.

Can't comment on whether it's a correct interpretation of the situation though.

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i'm not a lwayer, but i'd be breaking in like a shot, and changing the locks. After all the old adage goes, possession is 9/10ths of the law. If he doesn't immediately regain physical possession, he may have an even worse battle to come in terms of squatters rights...

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I would suspect that by "Guest" the lawyer is impying that they have no legal claim to tenancy of the property at all. e.g. if your mate comes round for a cuppa, there's nothing stopping you from chucking them out whenever you want.

Indeed, unless you've signed tenancy agreement she has no legal basis for being there in the first place, and it's a bit soon to be claiming squatters rights... especially if she is in noncompliance.

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I am a solicitor, but property is not really my field.

I would advise to go and see his solicitor first thing Monday morning. The problem with going back into a property in these circumstances is that it may be deemed an unlawful eviction. As a previous poster has pointed out you can be prosecuted for this, but more worringly the evictee can also sue you.

You can obtain an accelerated possession order against squatters, which takes about a week. That might be the safest option.

Good luck.

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Indeed, unless you've signed tenancy agreement she has no legal basis for being there in the first place, and it's a bit soon to be claiming squatters rights... especially if she is in noncompliance.

Quite, it's how I interpreted it also, but I also know these things can be a minefield.

But that sounds correct.

I'm going to tell him to call the 24 hour solicitor, but personally don't hold faith in that.

Thanks again, honestly, it's great to be able to post over this at the moment!

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even if not technically squatters rights, how long would it take to remove someone if you did not have physical possession?

They'd have to apply for a possession order, it's going to get really messy combined with noncompliance with the conveyancing, with that you're on firm ground but that doesn't make provisions for possession, they may deal with that separately and you're into a squatters right situation, with the same person you're suing for breach of contract having a hold on your property thanks to a seperate due process.

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Hi all,

This is a metter of urgency, not a wind up.

I posted last month about a mess that my brother has got into regarding him exchanging contracts on his house he thought he'd sold. He stupidly gave the keys to the buyer, who has now failed to complete, after several extending of deadlines. She basically moved in and invited into the house a couple of friends. The last deadline was up yesterday, my brother returned to the house today to move back in, on his lawyers advice. When he got there, they were all still in there. She gave him a set of keys, but wasn't going anywhere. He left the premises to get some help and advice and in the meantime got a call saying that he was going to be done for trespass from a 'friend' of hers. He then got a call saying she had suffered a heart attack and had been rushed to hospital. She's okay, but apparently was quite serious. The door has now been locked from the inside, both back and front. He's been told the police did that when she wqas taken to hospital. They have told him he can break min now though, becuase he's the owner of the property. He doesn't want to do that becuase he's worried he'll get into trouble. I've told him to get a locksmith round and change the locks - now, whilst no one is in the house (at least there's no chucking out to do). He again is worried that this will jeporadise his position legally.

Please no comments about what an idiot he was in the first place, I've gone over that a million times and he's close to a heart attack himself. Obviously, he keeps her deposit, but can anyone advise sensibly on what to do RIGHT NOW???

Would be most appreciated if there's someone out there who knows their stuff with nightmare messes like this one!!

:unsure:

Why even call a locksmith? Get down to B & Q & pick up a new key & barrell for about £15 per lock. Obviously check the makes of each lock before the trip. It takes about 10 mins to change each barrell.

And no comments about your brother being an idiot for giving up posession on the day, but if after a month he isn't motivated enough to take back his property, what else can I say?

I also think it's pretty obvious that you can't be done for trespass in this case.

All I know is that some friends of mine are being done for 'illegal eviction' when they moved back in to their flat after the tenant had failed to move out on the agreed date, even after all parties had agrred to the date. It cost them loads and couldn't get back in for 3 months nearly. The council is still going ahead with the prosecution. So even my advice to him I can't be sure about. His lawyer has been f****ing useless all along.

But I know these things just aren' cut and dried!

Sorry about the dramatic nature of this thread, if there was a solicitor to call on a saturday night, I'd/he'd be doing that but it don't work like that.

This person isn't his tenant.

Edited by Time to raise the rents.

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I am a solicitor, but property is not really my field.

I would advise to go and see his solicitor first thing Monday morning. The problem with going back into a property in these circumstances is that it may be deemed an unlawful eviction. As a previous poster has pointed out you can be prosecuted for this, but more worringly the evictee can also sue you.

You can obtain an accelerated possession order against squatters, which takes about a week. That might be the safest option.

Good luck.

Thanks for that!

They'd have to apply for a possession order, it's going to get really messy combined with noncompliance with the conveyancing, with that you're on firm ground but that doesn't make provisions for possession, they may deal with that separately and you're into a squatters right situation, with the same person you're suing for breach of contract having a hold on your property thanks to a seperate due process.

So are you saying the best thing to do would be to move back and change the locks whilst no one there?? That's what Ive said, but I can't be sure I wouldn't be getting him into even more sh**

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Jack your brother was very foolish to allow occupation of his home prior to completion. To the best of my knowledge the circumstances you describe are covered by the Protection of Eviction Act 1977, which provides sitting tenants with the right of ‘quite possession’ The 1988 Housing Act extends the rights of the sitting tenant and sets the measure of damages for breach of the right of ‘quite possession’.

The prospective buyer who is now in possession of the property, might be considered the ‘Residential Occupier’ and could benefit from the protection of the PEA 1977 and the HA 1988. I am pretty sure in this case that the occupier is not a lawful tenant as your brother has not consented to a letting. A legal tenancy requires a notice to quit (with 4 weeks notice), however a court order is required in the case of an eviction.

Your brother might want to change the locks and take up possession again, providing keys to the ‘tenant’. He should then explain that he will be seeking exclusive possession again and advise the ‘tenant’ that they will have to vacate the property.

Your brother should check with his buildings insurance company to clarify the situation regarding coverage.

I’m a surveyor not a solicitor, get legal advice first thing Monday morning, and tell your brother to wise up!

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So are you saying the best thing to do would be to move back and change the locks whilst no one there?? That's what Ive said, but I can't be sure I wouldn't be getting him into even more sh**

Your brother's solicitor doesn't sound too bright so it's quite possible they will be out manoeuvred and dropped in some hot water before you can nail them for breach of contract.

An alternative would be to go there and stay there, your brother has every right to be there and the imposter has no tenancy. A key part of squatters is the fact the property is empty.

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You need to seek legal advice before doing anything silly.

I would wait until monday. The house isn't going anywhere.

the house isn't going anywhere, but the would-be-buyer could well be back in the house by monday.

personally, i would think on balance, the law would be on the side of the original (and still) legal owner.

Allowing time to pass, and the unwanted person to move back in after a hospital stay, would seem to me to be the more lengthy process to get things sorted. After all, if your brother goes back in now, at least he can deal with the legalistics from the comfort of home, still being the legal owner of the property, and not in the more stressful environment than he would be if he was renting / staying with friends, and fighting to get someone out of his own house.

As I said before, I don't work in a legal capacity, but I am pretty sure that if I ended up in this sort of sorry mess, I'd be taking the bull by the horns.

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the house isn't going anywhere, but the would-be-buyer could well be back in the house by monday.

personally, i would think on balance, the law would be on the side of the original (and still) legal owner.

Allowing time to pass, and the unwanted person to move back in after a hospital stay, would seem to me to be the more lengthy process to get things sorted. After all, if your brother goes back in now, at least he can deal with the legalistics from the comfort of home, still being the legal owner of the property, and not in the more stressful environment than he would be if he was renting / staying with friends, and fighting to get someone out of his own house.

As I said before, I don't work in a legal capacity, but I am pretty sure that if I ended up in this sort of sorry mess, I'd be taking the bull by the horns.

Yeah, especially living with our mum, overcrowded with his young kids, recent divorce, etc. Can you imagine that? I love my mum but I don't wanna live there with her under any circs!!!!!!!! :(

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They're all criminal lawyers. House stuff ain't that urgent apparently.

And there you have your answer. Wait until Monday!

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  • 302 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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