Mistakes made in rent reconciliation during conveyncing. What can we do to correct it?
On 30th Sept 2012 we were due to complete on the purchase of a HMO. The vendors faxed a sheet of calculations through his solicitor to our solicitor, which showed how much we owed the vendor and how much the vendor owed us to reconcile the rents/deposit monies. Everyone agreed at the time the figures were correct.
I now know we made a mistake and did not read this thoroughly enough. To cut a long story short, we misinterpreted the figures and assumed two of the tenants were paying in arrears. Now one of these tenants is wishing to leave, we have agreed to allow him to give two weeks notice but he is wanting assurances we will give him the last two of the four weeks rent he feels he had paid up front.
When we have read this fax showing the figures again, it turns out the previous owner has worked the figures out totally wrong and instead of giving us the rent/deposit money he owed us (due to the tenants paying in advance) he actually took the amounts from us, and we paid it.
It was a very stressful time for us, other things were going on as well as completing on a HMO. I know this is not an excuse but it has happened and we have to deal with it.
My question is this - is there any way we can recoup the money owed to us from the previous owner. He is adamant he does not owe anything, so it is obvious he will not be giving this shortfall up willingly.
Can I go back to the solicitor (ours has actually retired now, under strange and speedy circumstances, so we would have to talk to another solicitor within the firm about it if this is the case) and would this be covered by the indemnity insurance we took out?
I feel very sorry for the tenant who simply wants what is rightfully his, but should I pay it out and hope we manage to be reimbursed? Is it right to take this to the small claims court or should we simply chalk this down to naivety on our behalf and learn from the experience.
All constructive help will be very much appreciated.
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