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Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10780
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I entered into a contract to buy a house in 2013. I paid

Customer Question

I entered into a contract to buy a house in 2013. I paid booking deposit, signed the contract, paid 10% deposit and moved into the house with the vendors consent. My solicitors called me two weeks later to say there was a judgement on the property and there would be a delay. The vendor told me his ex-wife and he were in court over maintenance and a judgement was put on the house and his business. Vendor said to stay in house until matter resolved. 1 year later his ex-wife sends me solicitors letter claiming to be receiver of rents of the property. They had been to court again and she demanded I get out or pay rent. My solicitors said he had to drop me as he had represented her previously and there was conflict of interest. I had to hire new solicitors and he sent a notice of completion which was ignored. In 2015 I was sent a letter from auctioneer saying that the bank were going to reposess the house if a higher offer was not offered. I called the vendor at this stage and he said that the bank no longer accept my original offer and they wanted the market value. He also told me he had not made any payments in 3 years in his mortgage. House prices had gone up by 80,000 at this stage so I could not afford to offer any more than 10,000 and that was refused. There was no correspondence for over a year and recently I got a letter from vendor saying he was putting the house on the market and that if I wanted to buy it at the market value to let auctioneer know. Otherwise he was giving me3 month notice to vacate the property. The price of the house is ddoubled so I cannot afford it. What would your advice be?
Submitted: 26 days ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 26 days ago.

Hello for clarification - you have paid 10% deposit and have lived in this house since 2013 and have you paid rent to anyone? why did the vendors agree to this situation?

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
I paid no rent as I was purchasing the house. I did offer to pay rent until the sale was completed and that it be taken from the balance due but he declined. My theory is that he allowed me to stay in there rent free to block his ex-wife from getting rent as there was no rental agreement
Expert:  F E Smith replied 26 days ago.

You say that you signed a contract to buy a house. Do you know whether contracts were ever exchanged? The reason is that until such time as contracts have been exchanged, there is no contract to purchase.

You say that your new solicitor sent a notice to complete that was ignored so I’m not certain why that was not enforced.

I don’t have all the paperwork were all the facts here but from what you have told me, there is a contract (if it was exchanged whereby you pay 10% and provided there is no provision to the contrary, you are entitled to purchase the property at the contracted price.

If contracts were never exchanged, then apart from there being no contract, you are entitled to your deposit back

.Can I clarify anything else for you? I’m happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
I signed the contract but when they were sent over to his solicitors, they called my solicitors to say there was a court judgement on the property and that he could not sign at this time . He did not sign the contract but led me on to believe the sale was going and stay in the house meanwhile , rent free. I want to buy the house still. My previous solicitor has my deposit in his account which I explained earlier. I want to buy the house at the agreed price on the contract. When a notice of completion was sent and ignored by the other party , it was July and courts were not in operation over the next few weeks and time passed. I just let it lie and then I got the letter from auctioneer saying bank would reposess it if I didn't offer a higher offer. They did not reposess. He still owns it but is not paying mortgage and I still live here.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 26 days ago.

The situation is absolutely straightforward if contracts were not exchanged. There is no contract and you are not obliged to buy and he is not obliged to sell the property.

You are entitled to your 10% deposit back and you must leave on reasonable notice.

Whilst he may have an interest on your 10% (interest rates at the moment are buttons) it appears that you have been living in the property rent free so it’s not such a bad deal.

.Can I clarify anything else for you? I’m happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

I’m happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please take a moment to look at the top right hand corner of the page and rate my service by clicking one of the stars at the top of the screen. It’s important you use the rating service because that gives me credit. It doesn’t just give me a pat on the head! All you need to do is press Submit. Thank you.

If you still need any point clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.

FES.

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
Do I have a case for breach of contract and sue for specific performance? There was a closing date in the contract and it was not signed by him by this time. My solicitors seem to think I have a case but you are saying most definitely not. I myself got a lis pendis placed on the property out of desperation recently and got a summons issued to sue for damages and breach of contract. I did this without my solicitors advice as I could not get hold of him. This will block the sale of the house as he intends on putting it on the market once the notice to leave date passes. I have not served the summons and I'm not sure if I want to if my case is weak.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 26 days ago.

I’m afraid not. I would have mentioned it if you had. Law of Property Act 1925, any contract for the sale of land (buildings included) has to be evidenced in writing and signed by the parties. There is no contract.

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
why is my solicitors and barrister saying otherwise? What happens if I don't move out by the date with the lis pendis in place. Does that not give me a right to stay?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 26 days ago.

If your solicitors and barristers advice is more favourable, then take it. They must have different facts than I have.

If contracts were not exchanged, there is no contract. It’s as simple as that. I have given you the statutory provision.

I cannot see however how contracts could not have been exchanged if there was a notice to complete because a solicitor will only send a notice to complete if contracts have been exchanged and the completion date has been agreed and not kept to.

However you say that the other party didn’t sign the contract and if they didn’t sign it, then there cannot be an exchange.

Just make sure that of your solicitor is encouraging you to litigate, he is doing it on a no win no fee basis with a guarantee that you are going to win because I am not convinced. Sorry.

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
No the vendor did not sign the contract the excuse being he could not because of the judgement. There was a judgement on the house when moved in, without my knowledge but he was aware and his solicitors was not. My solicitors said that there was a verbal agreement and an intention to sell giving me posession of the property. He claims that I have a case on this basis. He does not operate on a no win no fee basis as far as I know no solicitors in Ireland do unless its an injury claim. Can I not sue for damages? Also what will happen if I do not move out on the date he requested? Will he need to get an eviction order or what? I never paid rent or no rental agreement in place only my signed contract.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 26 days ago.

I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were in Ireland. It has come through as United Kingdom law. The Law of Property Act 1925 and its provisions may be completely different in Ireland. I will opt out for another expert.

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
Oh I wasn't aware. Will I have to start again and be charged again?
Customer: replied 25 days ago.
I have not been referred to a new solicitor yet
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

1. DearCustomer I am an Irish lawyer and I will answer your question.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

2. Essentially, if the proceedings you have issued did not include a clause asking for specific performance, then you should include a claim for specific performance and continue with them. At this stage you have nothing to lose and you will get an offer to ask you to leave, if nothing else.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Hi Buachaill thank you. Can you see my question ?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

3. I have read your question. What is the problem?

Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

4. As you have a lis pendens in place, the property cannot now get sold. This gives your case a buyout value.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

5. However, if you haven't included a claim for specific performance, you cannot purchase the property at the original value. So, this is why you need to amend any proceedings to include a claim for specific performance.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Do I have a case?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

6. A claim for breach of contract only gives you a right to damages. It does not allow you to keep the lis pendens in place.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

7. Because you have delayed so long in issuing proceedings, it has made your case much weaker. However, your case still has a buyout value, so you should continue with it.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
I got a summons issued but I did not specify specific performance. The court clerk mentioned it and asked I go and amend before issuing. I didn't use that particular term
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

8. Delay defeats you in getting specific performance. Because you have waited so long, the Court may not exercise its discretion in your favour in granting you a right to buy the property.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

9. If you didn't ask for specific performance, you can now either seek to amend your proceedings or you can forget about it.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
The vendor never made his intention clear until now on paper
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

10. But you won't get the property as you haven't asked for specific performance.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
I can amend them?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

11. It makes no difference that the vendor has never made his intention clear. It is up to your to decide what you want.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

12. You can amend them. But you should serve the proceedings first as otherwise you might also be out of time for service.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Do I have a strong or weak case in your opinion?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

13. I cannot give you an opinion on the strength of your case as at the moment you only have a money claim. I can tell you that you will get compensation for having been messed around. However, you won't get the property as you haven't pleaded a case for getting the property.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

14. You made a mess in drafting the pleadings.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
This is what the claim says
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

15. It does not matter what the claim says. Once you didn't ask for specific performance, you made a grievous error.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
An order declaring that the plaintiff is entitled to become the owner to the title of the said property,Aggravated and/or exemplary damages, An order to prevent the defendant entering into a contract for sale with any other party, internet pursuant to statute, further or other order or relief, the costs
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
This is the summons which I only got last week and have not served yet
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

16. You still need to ask for specific performance, as you haven't pleaded any right to the property. You won't get any declaration you are owner of the property because you haven't pleaded specific performance. You need to either amend or you simply have a claim for money as it stands.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

17. You should serve the proceedings and immediately put down an amendment, to include specific performance.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

18. Please Rate or Accept the answer as unless you do so your Expert will not receive payment from the website for answering your question.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
I am meeting my barrister next week to discuss the matter. I have not spoken to him in 2 years. I want to know what will this cost me win or lose approx
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

19. You need to speak to whoever is going to represent you about costs. I cannot give you an answer to that. That is like asking how long is a piece of string.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
The vendor did not sign the contract will that make a difference
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

20. Yes, it does. It means there is no concluded agreement for sale. So, you won't get specific performance.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
I'm sorry our conversation seems broken. Did you read all the info it wrote? I am residing in the property for the last 5 years with the owners consent. He let me in after I signed the contract but before he didn't
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

21. Yes, I read the dialogue. However, you need to be aware that the owner will get an order for ejectment if you cannot establish a right to the property. There is no such thing as remaining there indefinitely, not paying rent.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Ok so what are my rights concerning that. He has given me notice to leave or buy at market value. If I don't leave by that date what happens
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Also this guy has no assets all his property is borrowed and he is in debt to the banks. if i sue for damages only he has nothing! I only want the house i dont care for anything else at the price we agreed which is half of what its worth today
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

22. Essentially, if you don't leave, then the owner will seek an order for ejectment. As I have already stated, you will be ejected unless you can establish a right to the property. In this regard, because the vendor didn't sign the contract, you won't get an order for specific performance, so you won't get the property.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

23. Your case for the property is hopeless. So thinking you are going to get the property is foolish.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Really why does my solicitor think i do have a case?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

24. If parties don't litigate, then solicitors don't make any money. Unless there is something else....

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
you think the way to go is sue him for damages? But he has no money to pay his loans off so he says, and there is a judgement on the property and his business from his ex. And thats all I know about
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

25. You can sue him for damages, which is what you are already doing. But you cannot get feathers off a frog! So, it seems pointless if this man hasn't any money.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
What he said was that it may not be on paper but that there was a verbal agreement with an intent to sell by getting contact issued and allowing me to enter the property and staying in here for nearly 5 year
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

26. Essentially, you are relying upon acts of part performance.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

27. However, allowing you in, is not a sufficient act of part performance when the contract was unsigned. No court will buy that argument.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

28. I would advise you to get an actual barrister's Opinion from someone who has experience in the area.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
I know a notice of completion was sent in 2015. But it was ignored. `My new solicitor sent it as there was a closing date on the contract but he did not sign. tHE VENDORs excuse was that there was a court judgement on the house and he could not sell but my solicitor said this was not a valid excuse and that there was nothing to stop the sale proceeding
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

29. I am afraid the solicitor is telling you what you want to hear.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

30. My professional Opinion is that you won't get specific performance when the agreement was unsigned.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
what do you suggest? I am here 5 year later and I cannot afford to buy anything close to this house. Im outpriced of the market. I face losing my home and all because I chose to buy this one. I could have bought ant but this is the one i chose. The vendor was leading me on to believe it was mine and that he couldnt sell cos of ex and bank wanting a higher offer. House prices went up in his favor but if they were still at the price i offered back then, this wouldnt be an issue
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
I signed the contract, paid the booking deposit, paid my 10% deposit which is still in the solicitors office and i did not cash the booking deposit either. Does that not account for anything?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

31. I cannot advise you on what to do. You have to make that decision yourself. However, the law is not on your side when you want the property. That is the only advice I can give you. The facts aren't in your favour when there was no signed contract. Your solicitor should have told you that when it occurred.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Ok if i sue for damages is it possible he might reconsider and sign as a settlement. Its not all clear cut for him either is it?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

32. Yes, you can recover damages. However, be aware that this vendor will receive legal advice as to his position being strong. So, you shouldn't be unduly optimistic about getting the property cheap. He will want nearly full value.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Why do you say his position is strong?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

33. The law is in his favour. You should be wise enough to realise that the reason your solicitor would not continue to act for you when you were seeking the property was because your case was weak.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
No he had to let me go because there was a conflict of interest between me and the vendors ex wife, who became receiver of the rents of the property in 2014 after she took him to court. My solicitor said he could not represent me and i then had to find a new one
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
At the time i received news that a judgement was on the property, he said i could either walk away or stay in the property until such time its resolved. There was no inkling that he was going to reneage on signing the contract. Has he grounds for not signing because of a judgement
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Hello?
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Are you going to reply Buachail?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

34. You will need to Rate or Accept the answer as this stage so that I get paid for answering your questions thus far by the website. We can then continue with the discussion.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
I have paid a deposit and fee it was taken out of my credit card.
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
It was taken out last night when I raised my question with the previous expert. He opted out as he was in the UK and was concerned laws may be different
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
I spoke to customer service and they said that my question would be submitted again to another expert at no extra cost
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
I am happy to rate provided I'm not charged again
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

35. You don't get charged twice for the previous UK expert having answered your question. You only pay once. However, Rating is the method whereby the website decides whether to pay the Expert a portion of what you paid to the website.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
but our conversation is not finished yet which is when you rate, or so I thought
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

36. Rating occurs when the substance of the question has been answered. If you don't want to rate, it is fine, we can leave it at that. I am now on bullet point number 36, which is so far above the average.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Ok so how/where do I rate? We can continue the conversation at no extra cost?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

37. You use the buttons at the top of the screen to rate.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
It says finish by rating. I'm not finished
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
I'm happy so far but I feel we have not covered everything I need to cover/discuss
Expert:  Buachaill replied 24 days ago.

38. Best wishes.

Buachaill, Barrister
Satisfied Customers: 10780
Experience: Barrister 17 years experience
Buachaill and other Republic of Ireland Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Hi Buachaill can you opt out of my question. I am requesting another expert thank you
Customer: replied 23 days ago.
Hi Buachaill I am happy to continue with your counsel if you are
Customer: replied 23 days ago.
Are we continuing the conversation
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Hi Buachaill I rated you as you asked and I was told by customer service that I can ask as many follow up questions as I like until I am satisfied. I have more questions. I have tried to contine the conversation with you but I have got no response. Please contact me