My father was fined for parking in a reserved space for which he had paid £2,000 | Motoring
In 2021, my elderly parents bought an apartment in a new Martin Oppenheimer development marketed by real estate agent Connells. They paid an extra £2,000 for a parking space. On the reservation agreement issued by Connells, the parking rules were circled and my parents were given key fobs to enter the parking lot. A year later, my dad received a parking ticket at the scene and was told that his property had no registered parking spaces. It is understood the parking space was omitted from the lease because Connells did not include it in the memorandum of sale sent to the title transfer attorney.
The company has provided a goodwill payment of £1,000 for this shortfall. Martin Oppenheimer did not respond to my inquiries about buying space. My dad believed the legal documents were correct, and since he had access to a parking space and had it unimpeded for over a year, he had no reason to question them.
It’s a puzzling and disturbing situation that neither Connells nor the developers stand out from. However, your parents do take on some responsibilities. Buyers must sign legal documents, including leases, and they must first read them and mark any oddities. The transferor should also inquire about any unusual circumstances, and if your lawyer receives a reservation agreement as well as a memorandum of sale, they should question the fact that the former’s parking space is not included in the latter.
Connells admitted after investigating your complaint that its staff failed to transfer the parking element to the memorandum of sale. It could not explain why, since the parking space was not included in the lease, the key fob was issued. It’s still a mystery. “We have apologised for our administrative error. The onus to ensure all details of the contract are correct lies with the buyer, their assignor and the developer,” Connells said.
Property law expert Lara Nyman from lawyer Seddons confirmed that Buyer is conceited (Buyer beware) is the foundation of any purchase, especially when buying off-the-plan.
“Remedies will depend on the documents provided, as well as oral or written representations,” she said. “The reservation agreement is nothing but an agreement by the developer to sell the plot to the buyer for a specific time frame, so this is unlikely to give rise to a claim against the developer. Marketing materials and sales memoranda will almost certainly contain some attempt to limit liability and will ensure that The obligation for legal documents to be accurate passes to the purchaser.”
Your parents can sue their attorney, but it can be expensive, so they must make sure they have enough evidence to prove negligence or misrepresentation. It would be more cost effective to take their complaint against Cornell to the property ombudsman, but there is no guarantee they will receive more than the £1,000 already offered. Possibly less. I’m sorry I couldn’t reach a solution, but I hope this will serve as a warning to all of us to never accept a contract of trust.
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