The solicitors selling my house are not returning my calls: what can I do?

Our property lawyer Fiona McNulty answers your questions
Question: I employed solicitors to sell my house who were recommended by my estate agent, but they are hopeless. They never return calls and apart from receiving a huge bundle of forms from them at the outset, which I struggled to complete and return, I have heard nothing. I keep phoning them but can never get through to anyone. What can I do?

Answer: The solicitors are not providing an acceptable level of service in accordance with the code of conduct published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Inform the designated complaints handler of the poor level of service you are receiving and if the issue is not resolved contact the Legal Ombudsman.

Although this is the formal way to resolve the issue, it will not make your solicitors act more quickly to sell your house. You may have more success by complaining about the level of service to the firm's property department head, or to the senior or managing partner.

If there is still no improvement, inform them and explain that you intend removing your business and instructing a new firm of solicitors, and that in addition you will be complaining to the Legal Ombudsman. Hopefully that will do the trick, and you and your sale will be properly looked after.

If that still does not work you could instruct new solicitors who can request your file of papers from the original firm. Finally, tell your estate agents about the poor service being provided by solicitors they are recommending!

These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email legalsolutions@standard.co.uk. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

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