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Showing posts from October, 2016

The practical implications of P&P Property Limited v (1) Owen White and Catlin LLP (2) Crownvent Limited t/a Winkworth [2016] EWHC 2276 (Ch).

What should you do, and what exposure do you have when you act for a seller only to find after the transaction has completed that the seller is not the owner of the property but a fraudster?  

This was the very situation which a seller’s solicitor and estate agent faced in P&P Property Limited v (1) Owen White and Catlin LLP (2) Crownvent Limited t/a Winkworth [2016] EWHC 2276 (Ch).

Facts
An impostor posing as the real owner of the property instructed Winkworth to market the property and the First Defendant (‘OWC’) to undertake the conveyancing.  The impostor claimed he was living in Dubai and was looking for a speedy sale.   OWC carried out the usual identity checks (in robotic form only) and the sale proceeded with the purchaser P&P Property paying 1.03 million for the unoccupied property.
Upon completion the net sale proceeds were passed on to the purchaser. Subsequently the true owner when walking past his property was alerted when he saw builders ripping out the kitchen of t…