solicitor drafted defective lease

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    solicitor drafted defective lease

    The solicitor for our freehold company drew up our precedent lease 15 years ago (after we got the freehold). Over the years old leases were surrendered and 6 of the 7 owners have acquired our company lease. The last one is in the process of doing that. I’ve just become the new director and have to instruct our solicitor – the same who drew up our lease. The party asking to take our lease pointed to several inconsistencies and defects in our lease. On reviewing this myself, I agree there are defects and the defects have been acknowledged by our solicitor (the drafter). She can rectify this with a new lease but she wants to charge our company £500 for that. Should we have to pay her to correct her own faulty work product? If not, how do I put that to her? (in the end it’s not enough to merit a super hassle but I feel it should be challenged. I’ll change solicitors after this is concluded)

    No way should lawyers charge to rectify their mistake.

    Tell your solicitor that either she sorts the problem out free of charge or you go to another lawyer to do it and send here the bill.


      What are the defects in the lease ? Were these defects in the previous lease ?


        This is my first foray into leases and I can't get much info or explanation from the solicitor, but I can see that there are 2 clear inconsistencies/contradictions. 1) if there's shortfall in insurance payout for rebuilding, reinstatement, one section says in ALL instances, (all) Lessees bear liability through the service charge; another section says if shortfall is the result of fault on part of a Lessee, then that Lessee bears liability. 2) repair, etc of windows. One section says Landlord (us) has responsibility for repairing external windows. Another section says Landlord has responsibility to repair various building things, excluding "the windows". (I think this is meant to refer to interior windows inside the flat). There's one incorrect reference to other sections which could cause ambiguity. The numbers have to be changed. I don't know if the defects were in the previous lease, but from the few comments i've seen from the solicitor's for the party requesting change, it doesn't sound like there were. I know for a fact that when we got the freehold, and a new lease, the new freeholders (us) deliberately wanted to make changes to the old lease and made a specific list of them.


          It is normal for long leases to state the landlord ( as legal owner of the building ) will be responsible for all maintenance and repairs to the building, which are paid by the annual service charges, collected from lessees. Whatever the wording in the lease, the Landlord pays nothing and leaseholders pay for everything under the lease to the managing agent who are appointed by the landlord.

          The leases are not defective otherwise the lessee would stop payment of service charge.


            yes, i know.
            re insurance shortfall question is whether, if they're at fault, a specific Lessee pay/bearss the entire shortfall, or whether all lessees pay for it through the service charge. and while it's not our problem, i believe that in some leases there are provisions for the landlord to bear liability if there's a shortfall because he has underinsured the building
            re windows question is whether service charge covers redecoration of windows interior to the flat, in addition to the exterior.
            The problem is not with the substance but the words on the page and that's what being challenged.


              more to the point, solicitor agreed there were defects


                The re-instatement value for insuring the building should be reviewed every 5 years by a chartered surveyor. The annual insurance policy is usually adjusted by the insurance company to increase the re-instatement value for inflation.

                Redecoration inside the flat is the leaseholder's responsibility and the lease will probably state how often.


                  Originally posted by ms60 View Post
                  more to the point, solicitor agreed there were defects
                  Precisely. There is not a lot of point discussing the issue.


                    I know all this. but that's not what the words in the lease say.


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