Solicitor Issue – Illegal Extension

Q. I bought my house wanting to build an extension but found out there is a problem with my boundary wall and feel my solicitor was negligent. What do I do next?

A. Firstly, talk to your solicitor and see what they say. If this doesn’t get you any further then talk to another solicitor about the problem. Your new solicitors can review your file of papers from your original solicitor and see if, on the face of it, your first solicitor was negligent. If they were then they, or their insurers, should cover the cost of your reasonable losses arising from the mistake. It’s important to bear in mind though that your solicitor will generally act for you in the conveyancing – buying your property – he/ she is not guaranteeing that you can do whatever you want on the property for years to come. If you have some specific plans or concerns that you are worried about then you should let your solicitor know about it and get them to investigate those aspects before you exchange contracts. If your solicitor has missed something that they should check on, then they are negligent; if they have missed a special requirement that you had (and it’s out of the ordinary) then they aren’t – unless you made them aware of this requirement and asked them to investigate it.

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