Financial docs discovered in a purchased house

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  • Financial docs discovered in a purchased house

    I've just bought a house that had been empty for a couple of years after the old lady went into a home and then died a year later.

    The sellers of the house were not particularly attentive in their clearing up after their relative, since I now have everything from old lady slippers, and a pair of tights and a towel left drying in the airing cupboard, to a drawer full of old-lady cutlery (white handles, round ended blades, just like grandma), creosote, and a rather nicely crafted series of 1950s Sheffield-made handtools.

    However, I have just come across - stuffed away in a nook - a bundle of letters and statements from bank accounts and investments mentioning numbers nearly in six figures.

    Unfortunately no cash or bearer bonds :-(, but I clearly need them to go to the vendor.

    Which route?

    I think that to protect me it needs to go via my conveyancing solicitor to the sellers solicitor so that it is recorded and no advantage can accrue to any particular party from my course of action.

    Any thoughts?

    Incidentally, would any cash be mine since the house would have been sold freehold with no claims attached?

    ML
    Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

  • #2
    You might have a claim over a box of cash under the floor boards, but not through finding records of assets held elsewhere.
    A certain type of solicitor might be able to negotiate a reward, assuming the estate do not know about these assets, for information leading to their recovery.

    I sold a house for a client a long time ago and after a long struggle with possessory title the new owner renovated and found the deeds in a biscuit tin under the floor boards.

    It also transpired that the occupant was a house maid to the local landowner, and he had the house built for her as she was a "fallen woman" and granted the house to her and her descendants. The family had no idea about this- "father died in a War" was the story.
    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

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    • #3
      Fixtures pass with the land unless the seller has reserved the right to sever them. There is no need for them to be mentioned in a contract for the sale of land (unless being removed) because they are part of the land. Things or choses in possession (essentially tangible property which is not an interest in land) whilst they can be assigned in writing generally pass by delivery. Whether there is delivery has to depend on intention. If the contract provides for the sale of something or in the pre-contract negotiations it is confirmed that something will be left, then it will pass by delivery on completion. If something is not mentioned and is left in the property the situation is really no different from that where a visitor leaves something in a property. You have to take a common sense approach and ask whether the owner intended to abandon it. It is reasonable to assume that a chair with a leg missing has been abandoned, but not a hoard of gold coins left under the floorboards.

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      • #4
        I would respectfully refer you to the principle in equity of "Finders keepers , losers weepers"

        Congratulations ML you are the proud owner of a bunch of bank statesman showing money that you have no legal right or access too.
        Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

        Comment

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