Stamp duty deadline missed due to vendor dragging feetMake Text Bigger
I had an offer or £295000 accepted on a 2 bed flat in North London on 12th January 2016. I thought I would have plenty of time to complete by the 31st March stamp duty deadline!
However due to the incompetence of the estate agents in house broker and the vendor who took weeks/months to supply required information to his solicitors and further weeks to allow access to mortgage valuers there by delaying my mortgage offer I have now missed the deadline and face a £8,850.00 increase in SDLT.
On 13th January I had a meeting with the broker and he suggested I apply for an 80% LTV mortgage. We went through all the usual details. I gave him bank statements. ID documents and 3 year’s accounts (I’m self employed) he did a credit check and I also explained that my deposit was from an inheritance from my Mother who passed away in 2014. He filled out the forms and submitted them to the lender. I then waited for the survey to be arranged and for an offer. I contacted that agents and Broker daily to push for a survey appointment and was consistently given excuses as to why nothing was being done. The vendor who has at tenant in the property was not returning calls they could not get access to the property for the valuation survey. The valuation was finally done on 9th Feb. (Almost 1 month wasted) The Broker then told me that the underwriters were questioning my deposit and needed more proof. I supplied them with My mothers final Estate accounts certified by the probate solicitors which showed the amounts I had been received in her will… but there still seemed to be a problem and no offer had been made. Eventually I contacted the lenders directly and discovered that the problem was that my broker had mistakenly indicated in the application that my funds were from “Savings” and should have been declared as “Inheritance” This had aroused the suspicions of the underwriter and delayed the offer. They finally made an offer 29th Feb but for only 75% LTV and at the same rate as the 80% deal, not a particularly good deal. I discussed this with the broker and he suggested I apply for a new 80% loan with another lender and claimed he could get an off in 5 days!! Of course I was skeptical but took his advice and he submitted a new application on 4th March. To cut a long story short the whole sorry process repeated itself the vendor again delayed the survey which was eventually done on 24th March I also contacted the lenders and again discovered that the broker had made mistakes on the application. He had initially given the wrong property address and stated that I am “Employed” rather than “Self Employed”. Mistakes that he later corrected. I’m now waiting for an offer.
In addition to this the vendor has been extremely slow in supplying information. The leasehold pack requested by my solicitors took 2 months to come back because the vendor delayed payment of £400.00 to the Freeholders for this information.
I’m now in the position where I don’t yet have a mortgage offer and will struggle financially to meet the additional SDLT and so am questioning weather to go ahead with the purchase.
About a month ago I had a conversation with the Estate agent and explained by way of trying to move things forward that if we were unable to complete by the end of March I’m concerned that I might have to pull out of the deal. He advised me that we should carry on and try to beat the deadline he also said that if I did pull out then it would not be a problem as the market is moving very quickly and the property would probably be marketed at a higher price if it did go back on sale. I’m now suspicious that the vendor may have dragged his feet because he saw an opportunity to get a better offer at a later date.
Brokers fee and Legal fee are only payable on completion but I have already paid around £350.00 for searches and I think there will be some other expenses. Do I have a chance of claiming from the vendor if I decide not to go ahead?
This is my first foray into Buy To Let and I would welcome any advice that members can give me. Should I make a lower offer? Can I claim compensation for expenses and time wasted? Who could I go to make a formal complaint?
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