Your lawyer is incorrect in saying your property completion is when the Architect signs it off as finished (whether there are ‘issues’ with the build or not).
The purpose of a Licence of First Occupation is that it is given after an ‘official’ inspection to ensure that not only the build is in accordance with the building licence, but that everything including standard of structure, electrical wiring, drainage etc etc. has been done correctly.
Re. your Bank Guarantee – your lawyer should have obtained one for you if he genuinely had your (and not your developer’s) interest as priority.
It is your legal right to have one. By law the developer has to provide you with one, and it is a criminal offence when he doesn’t – punishable by a large fine or imprisionment.
It is also a legal requirement for the developer to give you this Bank Guarantee free of charge – despite the clause in your contract. Contracts are not above the law, so this clause is an ‘illegal’ clause.
Like Dorothy, am wondering if your lawyer was recommended by your developer. He certainly is not giving you correct legal advice.
You say: “I could be on the verge of losing the money already paid if I don’t complete”.
If there is no LFO, the developer cannot make you complete, nor legally keep your money. Suggest you report this threat to OMIC.
You say: the REA said they had the legal checks done and all was o.k. to sign!
Dare I say it…??
…..Here goes…..deep breathe….
Don’t believe a word of it !!
(Oh dear, I can feel some flak coming on…..)
As Dorothy says, you are only legally obliged to complete once this LFO has been issued, despite what the developer and your lawyer is stating.
I personally would strongly recommend you seeking some independent legal advice.