I just realized I bought a garage and not a residential house

Discussion in 'UK Property' started by shina, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. shina

    shina Member


    Not long ago we bought a house and we thought about extending the house and therefore contacted an architect to get first help and direction. the architect asked for our address and came back to us after few days saying that he can't do any plans on the house because the house we leave in defined as garage and not as a residential house in the city council website.he also said that the lady applied twice to turn this property to a residential and was declined twice. we were shocked because the lady sold it as if it was a residential house, that's how the house is defined in the contract. the architect told us to contact our solicitor who ran the conveyancing and see maybe there was a mistake. we did contacted the solicitor and he was quite surprise and said he'll check it out. after few days he got back to us saying you are probably right there's something unclear in the document i'll have to check further docs and i'll get back to you.
    I wanted to be ready in case he's coming back to me saying they did a mistake and didn't noticed that mistake and that the house we bought is truly garage and not a residential house.
    What are my rights in this case? Can I sue the solicitor? can i sue the lady who sold us the house?

    I'll be glad if someone can help us on what to do?


  2. Longterminvestor

    Longterminvestor Administrator

    There is no doubt that you will have a case if your solicitor has made a mistake and it seems unlikely that any immediate attempt to have the property defined as a residential house will succeed. I would also guess that the seller might be liable for compensation as well because they effectively sold you a property under false pretences.

    Unless there are other details not mentioned in your post - it looks like you have a very strong case. Has anyone else come across anything like this before?
  3. shina

    shina Member

  4. shina

    shina Member

    Cheers Longterminvestor,

    Anybody else could give his opinion please?

  5. EssamSerry

    EssamSerry New Member

    There is two questions that need to be answered. The first question is who's fault it is? The second question what can we do about it? if the sale contract states that the property is a residential house, then the lady who sold you the property has committed fraud and would be liable for damages. You can raise a court case and get compensated for this. As for the solicitor you can also complain because they did not do the searches properly or they would have found out that it is not a residential property. If the sale contract says garage then the lady is not at fault as she stated the nature of the property and then you have to take it up with your solicitors because they must have done the search and found out that it was registered as a garage. The solicitors in this case would probably tell you that they thought you wanted to buy the garage. You will need to prove that you instructed the solicitors to buy a residential property not a garage to accuse the solicitors with negligence.
  6. diyhelp

    diyhelp Active Member

    Whatever the situation, it does seem as though you have a potentially strong case for some kind of compensation. Any solicitor suggesting that they "thought you knew you were buying a garage" would probably be laughed out of court. So, as suggested above, you need to find out how the property was defined in the sale agreement and what information you received from your solicitors regarding the designation of the property. I would not mention compensation as yet, just pretend that you are getting your paperwork together for your records.
  7. EssamSerry

    EssamSerry New Member

    It is actually a very important point which was mentioned by diyhelp. Control your anger and collect as many documents as possible to be able to prove your case. Do not start the action too early. Look at the correspondence between you and your solicitors and the correspondence between your's and the seller's solicitors. the documents could have lot that you could use.
  8. This all makes shocking reading to me - at the end of the day you employ a solicitor to act on your behalf from a legal point of view. If some paperwork has been missed or the right questions have not been asked that is not your problem. If this is the whole story then it seems pretty much an open and shut case to me?
  9. shina

    shina Member

    Thank you everyone, your posts are very helpful. I will update.
  10. Longterminvestor

    Longterminvestor Administrator

    Hi @shina

    Have you made any progress? Any updates? I would be interested to see what happens here as it would appear you have a very strong case.
  11. Joel Purchase

    Joel Purchase New Member

    This is disgusting, I've never come across anything like this. Mind you it goes to show that everything is possible. If someone would have told me this without reading it I wouldn't have believed it.
    I hope you get everything sorted.
  12. lookinginvest

    lookinginvest Member

    Surely this is pretty much an open should case? Either one of the parties or both of the parties seem to have been asleep at the wheel? It is irrelevant whether this was a genuine mistake or an attempt to defraud a buyer, someone has to pay.
  13. shina

    shina Member

    Hi All,

    I've consultant 2 solicitors that specialized in this kind of things, I'm looking for a "no win win fee" one, there are not many who do that but, managed find 2 of them. the thing is that they ask for such a high percentage 20%-25% from anything we'll win and to be honest the reviews on them are not good enough. does anyone has any recommendations? does anyone know a good solicitor who deals with such cases that is good enough? I'll be glad to have few more names and to have a chat with them. Another questions is, as no win no fee charge so much, if i pick the other option - to pay hourly cost to a solicitor does anyone know if they can estimate the case and tell me how much something like that should cost? I just want to get a rough idea of how much a process like this should cost.
    Another thing is that all solicitors I've been talking to told me that we'll have to prove loses in order to get compensation. means that if the solicitor that did the mistake will offer to take on him all that is needed to turn this house into a residential then I wouldn't be able to prove any loses isn't it? the only one left to be sue will be the seller that signed a document that where she sell us a residential while she knew she's selling a garage. in this case what can i get from her if the solicitor will turn it to a residential? how can I prove any lose here?

  14. realdeals

    realdeals Active Member

    The 20%-25% rate quoted by the no-win no-fee company is standard for the industry and is known as a "success fee" so this figure will likely be the same whoever takes your case on this basis.

    Surely you would be able to claim expenses for the incorrect classification of the house such as:-

    Time taken to resolve it
    Mental anguish

    Note, if it was just a simple process of changing the classification from a garage to a residential property, surely that would have been done already? In the real world a garage would not have been worth anywhere near what you paid for it, thinking it was a residential property?
  15. shina

    shina Member


    As I realised I'm unable to talk to the solicitor on the phone as he's "busy" all the time I decided to set an appointment with him and we've met him on last Friday.
    First thing he said when he arrive to the meeting is "I'm sorry, we did a mistake here, this is the only thing I can say. I'm 47 years in the business and never had something like that" he just admitted in front of me and my wife he didn't do his work properly.
    So, we asked OK now what? He suggested that we'll try and apply again with help from our architect to turn this house to residential again. He said they will carry out all costs. There were few more things we've discussed there. For example the fact that we don't have the certificates for the electrical and gas systems in the house( he opened his binder and handed the certificates to us straight away) , the fact that the house doesn't have proper and approved building permission (something he also agreed with us about), the fact that in the deed drawings we can see that the seller still has right of way in our garden and house!!!!! And more. With regards to the right of way he said that we shouldn't worry about it as the contract is what we relay on and in the contract the sellers doesn't have right of way (I personally don't know if to believe him or not anymore)
    At the end of the conversation I asked him to summarise the whole conversation and email it to me something he still didn't do.
    Unfortunately I didn't record the conversation we had .
    Would be happy to here you guys opinions.
    And if anyone knows a good solicitor that deal with this kind of cases I'll be happy to be referred to.

    Thank you very much
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  16. FWL

    FWL Member

    Keep pestering him for written details of the meeting - if he is not forthcoming maybe take the bull by the horns and send him your account of the meeting. I am sure that will catch his attention :)
  17. Longterminvestor

    Longterminvestor Administrator

    Curious to see how you got on with this issue @shina

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