Bt of advice please.
We had agreed a sale for our house and to buy another. The solicitors secretary requested £300 for searches. I am informed that this is the normal amount to carry out a search. Their complete costs were due to be £580.
The solicitor was a nice chap, but not much kop. He missed the fact that there was a roof conversion (to bedroom) with dormer window to the property we were buying and had failed to request planning regs or building regs. I had to push this stuff through as well as informing him. Of exchange dates, completion etc. he seemed like he was just reacting to requests rather than doing what we were paying him to do.
Anyways, the sale fell through a day before we had agreed to exchange contracts due to our buyers being asshats.
Fast forward a few weeks and the property we were buying has been sold, and we receive a call from the agent asking if we'd sell our searches. I agreed, partly to recoup some cash and also because I feel really bad for the vendor and having to pull out of the sale. The agent calls the solicitor and they haven't even done the searches!
Given the fact that there was no way the solicitor could have completed the searches in time for the exchange, I can only surmise that he was going to exchange without them. No indemnity insurance is in place for the searches.
I was advised to seek recompense, which I have done.
The solicitor then sent me an invoice for a further £180, stating that he had reduced the fee to reflect the unfortunate events in the collapse of our sale.
He's not done the searches, exchanged the contracts, done any of the stuff with the transfer of funds. If fact, all he's done is send a few mails.
I've rejected his invoice, and informed him that I shall be seeking advice from the legal ombudsman, which I shall as I think he's taking the piss but maybe they won't be remotely interested.
Advice greatly appreciated.