During the process of purchasing your property, you will have to work with a lot of professionals including solicitors, surveyors, and mortgage lenders. It is highly possible for you to not be satisfied with their service, and may even spend a lot of cash due to negligence on their part. This part of the Guide suggests what action you may take if you find yourself in such situation.
Regarding your complaints, you should always write to the company or professional in question declaring what exact part of their service were you not satisfied with, how has it affected you as their client, and what kind of response you are wanting – do you want a compensation, refund, or some other things?
Do not forget to keep a copy of this letter, should you find it necessary to do one. If they reject to accept your complaint, you can further continue the matter with the help of appropriate professionals.
What if You Are Not Satisfied with Your Estate Agent?
Always remember that estate agents act for the seller’s advantage and not the buyer, but if you are worried that some unethical practice has taken place on the course of the transaction, you can always submit a complaint to the Office of Fair Trading or to the Property Ombudsman.
What if You Are Not Satisfied with Your Surveyor?
If your chosen surveyor has presented some negligence by not informing you with defects which could cost you money later on, you may be able to reimburse the money you spent. You have a right to sue the company, or the professional in court. Just keep in mind that a surveyor can’t always see every faults and defect of the property as some parts are inaccessible. They won’t, for example, pull up carpets, drill holes in floorboards and walls, or take any personal risks.
If your hired surveyor has declined to compensate you after the complaint you made, you have every right to take the matter further. All registered companies of the ‘surveyors’ professional trade associations’ is obliged to follow a certain standard complaint procedure. These members all have access to a professional arbitration scheme whose findings they (and you, their client) are obliged to accept. If the company of your chosen surveyor is not a member of either of these bodies, the case will have to be heard in court.
What if You Are Not Satisfied with Your Solicitor?
If you are dissatisfied with your solicitor’s services, but they have caused you no financial loss, you still have the right to write up a complaint to the SRA (Solicitors Regulatory Authority). The SRA can order a refund or compensation of your costs up to £5,000.
If, sequentially, you are not contented with the way the SRA has dealt with your complaint, you can submit a complaint to the Legal Services Ombudsman.
If you have financially suffered as an outcome of your solicitor’s negligence, you can claim for a compensation fee. Solicitors are lawfully obliged to hold negligence insurance. Go contact a different solicitor if you feel the need to make a claim on this insurance, as the SRA does not usually deal with negligence claims.
What if You Are Not Satisfied with my Conveyancer?
If you are dissatisfied but have not suffered financially, contact the CLC (Council for Licensed Conveyancers), who shall do the same disciplinary action for the licensed conveyancer involved, just as the SRA does for the solicitors. Keep in mind that if a conveyancer is not licensed, it is illegal for them to charge you for their services.
However, if you have suffered financial loss as an effect of your conveyancer’s negligence, you can claim for compensation. Just like with the solicitors, conveyancers are lawfully obliged to hold negligence insurance. Talk business with a different solicitor if you need to make a claim on this specific insurance as the CLC will not deal with any negligence claims.
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