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I'm Not Happy

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Tawny Report 19 Nov 2017 14:42

Mr Owl and I bought our first home together earlier this year. It is a two bedroom flat with a separate kitchen, lounge and one bathroom. The couple we bought it from have since been nicknamed Mawkit and Clarty.

We thought their lack of any cleaning ability was their worst quality. Mr Owl and I along with our parents set about cleaning the flat. Things we threw out included men's and babies clothes, Rabbit food, a pram, Christmas decorations and several old suitcases. The young couple had no children so I've no idea how long some of that had been in the loft. We eventually located the grill pan in the hall cupboard 2" full of grease.

Worse was yet to come however when the bailiffs showed up on the door step looking for Mr Mawkit for 10 years of unpaid council tax at four different properties. Thankfully in Scotland bailiffs have no right to enter a property however they did leave the letter after telling Mr Owl to open it. It was duly opened and the company was phoned we explained that Mr Mawkit no longer lived in the property and told them the name of the company that sold the flat.

Long winded story but now to the point. The kitchen is new and if they've bought it on finance does anyone know where we would stand if they stopped paying for it?


Andysmum Report 19 Nov 2017 15:32

I'm not sure, and I think a call to the Citizens' Advice Bureau, or your own solicitor, might be a good idea. Or you could ring the local Sheriff Officers office. They have to carry out the law on behalf of the finance company and would certainly know the answer.

This link is intended to help the debtors, but the section "What if I can't afford to pay" will give you some idea about repossession.

One other point - about the arrears of Council Tax - if you haven't already informed the Council, please do so. Don't rely on the Sheriff Officers (Bailiffs) to do it.


supercrutch Report 19 Nov 2017 15:34

On the questions before contract I'm sure the vendor is asked if anything in the property which will remain is not yet paid for.

Worth checking your copy from time of purchase.



Sharron Report 19 Nov 2017 15:48

I think Scottish contract law may not be the same as English so it is quite important to ask advice of somebody who is proficient in Scottish law. (I think you are in Scotland).


Tawny Report 19 Nov 2017 15:58

Thank you all for your advice. Mr Owl and I have informed the council that we now occupy the property and are paying the council tax by direct debit.


RolloTheRed Report 19 Nov 2017 16:44

While there are quite important differences between English and Scots property law both have this important principle in common:

"The property is sold free of debt and encumbrances""

It is the responsibility of the buyer's solicitor to ask the required questions and the seller's solicitor to retain sufficient proceeeds from the sale to pay outstanding debts. Council tax is high on the list. As an English buyer can back out right up to exchange of contracts he can be a bit more relaxed. The Scottish buyer is bound by acceptance of offer so should be more careful.

Looks like somebody is not up to the job.

English country court bailiffs do not usually have right of entry on domestic property and not usually on commercial property. They may enter if they can do so without using force. Crown bailifs have right of entry and seizure without notice in both countries.

In England the kitchen company would have a fair prospect of winning their case BUT the buyer of the property could get relief from the seller's solicitor.

There is much to consider before getting YellowBricks to handle everything...

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 20 Nov 2017 00:01

surely though the debt is against the original purchaser not the property

Cant think the kitchen could be repossessed :-(

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond Report 20 Nov 2017 07:42

Sorry you are having a difficult time, I hope everything gets sorted out soon.



Tawny Report 20 Nov 2017 08:15

The flat was never at risk as it was owned by Miss Clarty and not Mr Mawkit. Despite Miss Clarty owning the flat Mr Mawkit claimed to live there alone and so got his single person discount. Strange that isn't it when Mr Mawkit and Miss Clarty were in fact married that they never lived together :-0 :-0

Unpaid council tax is just the tip of the iceberg as on top of wardrobes and cupboards we found things like multiple failed credit card applications. Our worry stems from the thought of what might he have bought for the flat and not paid in full.

Mr Mawkit was born in 1985 and Miss Clarty in 1989 so it appears that Mr Mawkit hasn't paid some essential bills from the time he moved out of his parents house.


maggiewinchester Report 20 Nov 2017 08:39

I'd take the whole lot to the Citizen's Advice, as Andy'smum suggested - then you can get advice in one spot, instead of faffing around with this bank/that bill etc.

They may be able to draft a 'legal-eez' letter for you to send to any agency you find a credit card/bill for, and advise you on how to free yourselves of their rubbish.


Tawny Report 20 Nov 2017 08:45

Thank you. I think my local CAB office may be my best bet

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 20 Nov 2017 10:31

As they left a lot of rubbish behind then it does give you some idea of what you may be looking at

Would it be an idea to put an announcement in the local papers to the effect that you bought the property on such a date and aren't responsible for any debts incurred before that date or for any incurred by the previous owner

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond Report 21 Nov 2017 03:19

Tawny, a lot of hassle for you but why not write everything down clearly and take it to the solicitor who did your conveyancing for you, (if that's how it works in Scotland) or find a solicitor who will give you a free half hour for advice. You might have to go through CAB for that information or you could Google free half hour advice.

Good luvk with getting everything sorted out



RolloTheRed Report 21 Nov 2017 16:05

Tawny should not have to pay a cent for her solicitor to sort out the matter as they stem directly from the sale.
Any expenses should be born by the seller's solictor who will either have to meet them himself or take them from client money's if he still has any.

These sorts of problems are increasingly common in England where people can (and do) buy/sell property either without a solcitor or by legal clerks provided by web sites. I had thought the Scottish system to be more resilient. Maybe not.


Tawny Report 21 Nov 2017 19:48

I did use a solicitor to purchase the property so I think I'll go back to him first and see what he says.

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond Report 21 Nov 2017 22:26

Hope he can help, he should have made sure all was ok before you purchased the property. Good luck

Liz xx