Monday, 18 July 2011

A moving account 2B

A disappointing day. The walk with Fran didn't happen - she was called away to her mother's nursing home, and the rain fell in sheets.

I signed everything I had to sign, and have just heard that exchange on this house should take place on Friday, with completion on the following Monday. All looking good so far. The wagons should roll on Monday morning as planned.

But..... but.... buying is another matter. I can't say I understand this problem terribly well, but the 'flying freehold' on the cottage is giving my solicitor a headache - the cottage stairs are under the roof space of the adjoining house, and the scratchy little plan provided by the Land Registry doesn't indicate either by the requisite colour coding or indeed any attempt at basic draftsmanship where my cottage begins and ends. (Higgledy-piggledy arrangements of this nature are common in areas where ancient cottages jigsaw in and out of each other, but should still be detailed in the deeds.)

Strong advice has been issued that I should not buy the cottage until this is sorted out. The Land Registry may need to clarify matters, and this could take a long time. The risk seems to be that until it is sorted out, and clearly set out in the deeds, the next-door neighbours could deny me access to my staircase or some such unlikely scenario.

So, bit between teeth, I went back to Plan A - the plan that seemed to be agreed at the time I made my offer to buy, but that everyone ignored because things seemed to be going along swimmingly - that I move into the cottage as a tenant until the legalities are sorted out. I did not wish to hold up either the sale of my own house or my planned move while solicitors tried to set things straight.

So, I now await news that a tenancy agreement has been drawn up, faxed to my solicitor, and that I am able to move in on Monday. Down the phone, I could feel my solicitor thinking that she was dealing with a reckless and foolhardy woman who would come to rue her impetuosity - she even said "Purchase in haste, repent at leisure".

Meantime my poor vendor, unaware of this high drama little hiccup, is on her way to finish the last of the cottage-clearing. She may be able to shed light on the matter of the freehold, but until she is contacted, the situation remains unresolved and worrying.

And to emphasise the moment, and express some of the tension we are all experiencing, Lottie climbed into Flossie's bed and wee-ed in it. Can't say I blame her....


flwrjane said...

Oh dear. Why do they always make closing on a house so frigging difficult?

Thank you for the email. I look forward to following all the clues.

And I know if I look close enough I'll find you and the gang in the garden.

All will be well. But a little cry wouldn't hurt.

xoxo jane

Karen said...

I was thinking about how cool it would be to live in a 400 year old cottage this post.

You could come here to the States where flying freeholds don't exist. But then again, 400 year old cottages don't either (at least here in North Carolina; there are a few in New England). The only people living here then were the Sauras, a tribe related to the Cherokees, and they weren't living in cottages - just lodges that were temporary in nature.

I'll keep my fingers crossed along with Jane. It will work out in the end.

P.S. Google won't let me post with my account. This always happens on Jane's blog, too. Is it because of the close juxtaposition here?

A Heron's View said...

Don't be worrying it's very unlikely that the neighbour would do such a thing and possession is four-fifths of the law, meaning that the floaty bit
is in your keeping.

Noelle said...

Oh Oh Lottie, you're in trouble!
I must admit I recall a few closings/moves in the last 36 years (tomorrow is the special day!) which led me to say NEVER AGAIN after this last time...until the next time...
Hang in there!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Damn! Never mind , you've got a perfectly viable Plan B and , after she's sucked her teeth and gone "Oh dear , dear , dear " for a while , your solicitor should be able to find a sensible solution .
A few deep breaths and cups of tea from now and you'll be settled in nicely .

Lucille said...

There were three frying freeholds, as we inevitably called them, on one house we almost bought. The deeds were cross hatched in red, blue and yellow and our eyes were crossed trying to work them out. The sale fell through, but not because of them. It's best to get them sorted and one little staircase shouldn't be too difficult- just tedious. I'm glad you can rent meanwhile.

the veg artist said...

So sorry that you are still getting grief from all this.
Flying freeholds are common things, particularly in terraced or adjoining houses of any age. My great aunt's house had a bedroom which was above next door's front door, and it never caused any problems. Day to day living with a flying freehold is not the issue, but it could cause difficulties if any repair work had to be undertaken. You would need to know exactly which parts were your responsibility, and which belonged to your neighbours. As would your (or their) insurance companies if they were involved.
Having said this, presumably the plan was judged adequate when your lady vendor bought the house? I suspect an old country solicitor would not query it too much, but there aren't many of those left!
(By the way, I think Blogger was playing up again yesterday!)

HAZEL said...

Something went wrong on the closing of this property..but we moved in anyway...with the vendors' was sorted out eventually. If you feel comfortable about renting until it is all cleared up and the vendor is happy...go for it. Solicitors are paid to be suspicious and wary. Don't let this little hiccup stop you from enjoying the next step in your adventure.

Lesley said...

Hi there. As a property solicitor who used to live in a house with a similar flying freehold over next door's cellar steps (what a coincidence!) I thought I'd just say that it IS worth sorting it out properly but you're not being foolhardy taking the lease while this happens. It'll be fine.

Good luck with the move and the cats.

Lesley xx

Jenny Debeaux said...

Just keep packing and we'll do the praying!

Isabelle said...

Oh, gah. If ever there were an occasion for wee-ing in a bed, this was certainly it.

Be brave, my friend. It'll all be worth it. Think of the country walks with your doggy friends.

Hope it gets sorted out soon!!

I tell you, however, the stress of becoming a granny is almost as bad... though in a good way. No, that doesn't make sense, does it?

Toffeeapple said...

Dear me, I wish they would sort things like this out before you make your plans. Everything crossed again my dear.

Naughty Flossie, is she stressed out?

kathek said...

I will choose being impetuous, foolhardy and reckless over the alternative every time! I wait with envy for more details about your cottage.

Arthur Ransome said...

Oh crumbs! What a palaver for you. But all should be well eventually. After all, presumably no one in the past has ever made any peculiar stipulations about the staircase. I can quite understand where Lottie's coming from, though - it does all get a bit much.

Dartford Warbler said...

What a nuisance to have this "hiccup" at the last minute. I hope it can soon be sorted out and that you can still move in as planned.

Lottie must be in a muddle about territorial boundaries too!

elizabethm said...

We had all sorts of nightmares buying our 400 year old house too including a bit of land which nobody could prove any ownership of. We stuck it out and here we are. The solution for us was buying an indemnity policy in case anyone ever came along and claimed said land and stopped us getting into our house! I think renting is a great idea personally. Sometimes you just have to stick at it! Thinking of you though and hoping for dry beds all round. x

Susan said...

Sheeeeeeeeeeesh ....we can barely stand it, our little claws are chewed to nubs now we're off for a good dose of cosmic catnip on the kitchen rug - postal address please when M. Millie has a moment.

loads of love,
Oliver, BleetNess & Virgil

Rose H (UK) said...

I missed this post (?) I think a tenancy is an excellent idea! Good on ya! It'll all work out right in the end you know.
Sending a {{hug}} anyway.
Rose H

jabblog said...

Awww! This is a time when animal-human languages should meld . . .

hasenschneck said...

I'm so glad to see that you have made it down here. Cottage looks wonderful. Enjoying your moving posts and looking forward to more posts in due course when you're more settled. Epic move with all those animals. Well done!

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