Ho Yin, Kenneth, Partner
Conveyancing Litigation, Civil and Criminal Litigation, Financial Issues, Conveyancing Matters, Insolvency Services
Client: Mr. Lee
Case Nature: Conveyancing matter
I liked to purchase an apartment in Pok Fu Lam and I got the one through an estate agent. However, I received a notice from the management of that building after signing the provisional sale and purchase agreement. The notice was about the repair fee of a dangerous slope nearby which was issued by the Building Department. Since this notice was issued one day before the signing date of provisional sale and purchase agreement, therefore, I assumed that this would be the responsibility of the vendor. I was told late that the vendor refused to pay this because I already purchased the property.
Under this circumstance, I appointed Huen & Partners (HP) to act for me in solving this conveyancing problem. After careful consideration of my case, HP found that the estate agent was in dereliction of duty as the agent should provide the most updated land search of property from Land Registry in confirming all the details of that property. In fact, the agent had not requested the vendor to provide any basic information of my property while the same was required by the law. The search provided from the agent was also not the latest one which could not confirm the title!|s integrity.
During the negotiation leading up to the signing of provisional sale and purchase agreement, I did not know about the maintenance matters of the dangerous slope nearby his building. Most importantly, there were no additional terms stating that the repair fee of that dangerous slope was responsible by me, hence, the responsibility should be borne by the agent due to his negligence. With this effect on title, HP suggested me to cancel the transaction as vendor failed to prove good title. For this reason, I did not need to give any compensation to the vendor.
Nevertheless, as the price of that apartment met my budget and the vendor was afraid of missing this chance, after the negotiation through HP, the vendor was willing to pay the repair fee and the transaction was gone through. I was disappointed with the negligence made by the agent, HP acted for me to take the legal action. The judgment was against the agent and I do not need to pay any commission for this conveyancing matter to the agent.