This is a recent case study showing an enquiry from a client about expenses that should be retained by a seller´s solicitor before completion:
Hi, I enjoy receiving your monthly newsletter and being Irish myself I feel you have a special interest in any problems as you stated in your last newsletter .
I bought a house in Cabo Roig in 2012(not from yourselves I might add).
I engaged solicitors for an agreed fee of 1000 euro to close the sale.
Last week I got an email from them stating that the water contract was never changed to my name, and that the bills that I receive are still in the previous owners name, even though they are paid directly from my account.
The previous owner has asked my solicitor that they change the contract to my name, as he fears that if I don’t pay the water bills,he would be liable.
The cost to do this would be
Including photos etc. 363 euro( incl. vat)
Town hall fees. 120 euro
Total cost. 483 euro.
My solicitor states that I am liable for these fees.
I would be very grateful if you could give me your views on this matter.
Thank you so much for your kind words.
The answer is that to change ownership at the water company an architect report or a Habitation Certificate is requested, and it costs 500 euro, (this includes the Town Hall and VAT)
But it is paid by the seller before completion. Your solicitor should have arranged it and they did not. After completion is usually unlikely to get it paid by the seller.
We retain the funds when we act in this.
We can do this for you too. Personally, we would say try going back to them and saying that you believe that the seller was liable for this and they should have dealt with it and you wish them to contact the seller to pay (or a contribution) and see what happens. But ultimately, it will have to be done, so you may need to suffer the loss if they will not help. (It would not be worth proceeding legally).