Man sues solicitor for alleged poor property advice

Man sues solicitor for alleged poor property advice



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A novice property investor is suing his solicitor for allegedly giving him bad advice at the height of the property bubble in Northern Ireland, as reported by the BBC.
In 2007, 37 year-old IT manager, Trevor Scott, from Dunmurry, borrowed an amount seven times himself and his wife’s joint income in order to buy three houses, the High Court heard.
Mr Scott has already reached undisclosed out-of-court settlements with three property developers over three Belfast apartments he agreed to buy, at this time worth a total of £920,000, and is now suing former solicitor John Irwin for the money which he has been made to pay them.
Mr Scott said Mr Irwin gave him the impression that the maximum loss would just be the booking fees paid to estate agents. He believed that reserving the apartments would only risk him £8,000.
However, after a pub conversation with another investor in one of the Belfast developments, he realised he could have to pay the full amount and confronted his solicitor about it.
Mr Irwin claims his former client “got the wrong end of the stick”.
Mr Irwin’s barrister asked Mr Scott: “Did your solicitor tell you that in legal terms you were obliged to pay the deposit at the time when the contracts were signed?”
Mr Scott said he did not.
In a sign of just how lax lending criteria was in the pre-crunch years, despite the amateur property investor and his wife borrowing nearly seven times their combined income to buy the three properties Mr Scott said he did not have a problem securing credit from the banks.
He explained: “It was because I was going to rent them out - I had to put together a case where I was asking so much rent per property. Having done some research, there seemed to be good demand in the area.”
The case has been adjourned until next month.

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