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Solicitors and their old ways

Graham C

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Hello All

We are in the process of moving, and as part of this having to deal with on odd breed of people called Solicitors.

We have asked to confirm no one who has owned our house have never broken any of the covenant s on the house, quite hard as the house was built in 1930. So how am I to know that no one never sold alcohol from the house, Tec.

Did offer to supply the names of previous owners so they could track down next of kin.

In addition we were originally set with a solicitor but could not use them due to conflict of interest but this was after a deposit was paid of £25, now you would think that returning this money would be easy.

Anyway as it came via a third party it is not.

Had a phone call from them asking for bank details,  would not take details over the phone I had to scan a bank statement and send it to them. Then the solicitor would phone me  to read back the details, I asked for a cheque can't do that. By this time was I had enough told them to give to a charity and put phone down.

Now just had an e mail to say they can't give it to charity.

So if I am not prepared to jump through hoops to get my money back, they can't or will not provide a cheque I wonder what will happen.

I do find solicitor s hard to deal with and quite old fashioned.


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Did you have any problems over rights-of-way?

Our last house was on a shared lane, sharing with an elderly lady about 500 yards away. She was really helpful when we sold especially after it turned out our house was built on land not on the original plans, so she drove to the records office and signed over the additional land free of charge which had belonged to her family who built our house themselves back in the day. So: no problems from her.

However: we shared the lane. Even though it had been in constant use since the early 1980s and in fact since the 1940s on the previous dwelling, there was still a possibility that someone unknown may object to our use. I therefore had to take out Indemnity Insurance against anyone objecting. There was absolutely no likelihood of anyone objecting as the lane was built across her land and going to both houses and she had to pass ours, not the other way around, but the solicitors still demanded we take out Insurance. NOW: the sensible thing to do was to obtain written permission from her that we were allowed to use the lane in perpetuity, but no: once she was aware that there MAY someday be an objection, we could not obtain Insurance against legal costs.

So it cost us over £200 to take out Insurance to cover legal costs against our neighbour objecting to our use of the shared lane, and she had to be kept in ignorance of this, as once she became aware, we could not take out Insurance against her.

If we had just spoken to her she would have laughed and told us there was no likelihood of this, but once we did tell her, she was then aware and we would not be covered for costs. Solicitors....



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1 hour ago, Colin Lindsay said:

If we had just spoken to her she would have laughed and told us there was no likelihood of this,

The sort of "solicitors" who do mere conveyancing are the lowest of the low in legal circles, so they tend to be the sort of really myopic pen pushers who can't even contemplate a proper solution to a potential problem that appears in their book as "needs insurance". I had a similar problem with a building regs query when I sold my last house. The solicitor kept insisting we needed to not tell anyone but get insurance. Eventually, when we decided to ignore her advice and asked the council, they sent a chap round who gave it approval straight off.

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51 minutes ago, 68vitesse said:

If its a public footpath it should not have been built over, your problem is with the person who did it.




I know Paul, but the guy that built it in 1956 is now dead, and there is a new footpath 30yds to the side of it.... They just want to be Richard Heads. According to the council this one group cause 97% of footpath complaints in our area.


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Indemnity insurance, do not start on that one. 

We have a 170 mm wide by 1 m long strip of foundation on the neighbours property, in 2003 we followed the party wall act 1997 and got a letter from the neighbour giving us approval for this. Accepted by the council alongside the plans.

You guess it not good enough for the solicitor now, I need insurance and also a statement of truth from another solicitor saying this is not a problem. I do not expect any change from £400 plus. Stupid thing is the fence post on the boundary have bigger foundations on the neighbours land.

In the past had insurance to cover a bad lease, solicitor try to explain why I needed it, I still did not understand it and It seems I could not claim for anything but needed it.

Solicitor admitted he had never heard of anyone claiming on it.

With the pecking order of solicitors yes I have heard the same opinion from a criminal practising solicitor what he thought of conveyancing solicitors.

An interesting thought, indemnity insurance runs at approx £200 for 20 years, so really this does mean the insurance companies consider this a very low risk by nature, hence this must mean it is simple at## covering by solicitors.


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My take on this is there are two issues here with solicitors' behaviour. First, the litigious nature of the modern world, so solicitors feel the need to protect themselves is a higher priority than serving their clients.

Second... Obviously the extra work involved means there are extra billable hours.

The client always loses/pays.


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When my mother died and we sold the house had to take out insurance in case the rear access track got closed. Mums house second one in with at least twenty other properties using it never ever was a problem.

As you say solicitor a** covering and money for nothing to insurance company.






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Regarding the potential of previous owners breaking covenants - you can only attest to whether you are aware/know of any covenants being broken, you can’t attest to something you do not know.

Never answer more than the question is asking.

Therefore the correct response for conveyancing purposes is that ‘you are not aware of any covenant being broken by current or previous owners’.

(assuming you don’t know of any covenant breaches!)

...... Andy 

PS. Yes, solicitors can be an interesting bunch, but you can help yourself in the way that you respond to their enquiries.

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