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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3493
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I bought a buy-to-let property in Detroit through a UK broker

Customer Question

I bought a buy-to-let property in Detroit through a UK broker whic has turned out not to be close to anything they advertised - I have the deed, but everything else is held by them and neither they or the property management company in Detroit who they appointed will respond to me anymore. I have the house and the liability, but no information on how to start to sort out the mess.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer.

Did you pay the broker a commission or sign any terms and conditions?

Who placed the advert?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes the broker charged a fee and I did sign some terms and conditions.
The ad for the property and others is done through a regular "spam-like" email. I am told by other similar firms that it is a reputable company and I hate to say it their web-site seems very professional.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

In the terms and conditions of the broker what does it actually say they will do for you in exchange for the fee? Does it refer to any limitation of liability?

Do you have any idea what your losses are?

Unfortunately this kind of investment is not actually regulated as it relates to property, that does not mean to say that there are not other contractual obligations which if breached would mean they should pay your losses.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I will check the terms and conditions through again
, but probably need a pair of proffesional eyes on it could you tell me the best way to find a local lawyer who could deal with a sale made by a Uk firm on a USA property - that is part of my problem apart from going to the papers I am unsure how to find an expert to talk to face to face about my options - if any!
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

You are correct this website is just a guide and what I can do for you is give you an idea of what your remedies might be and how to find some one to assist you. If you want to find a face to face professional then you need to contact the Law Society www.lawsociety.org.uk - they can recommend a solicitor who can meet your personal needs whether you be based here or abroad. There will be remedies available to you and if the broker has done wrong they wont be able to get away with this with some sanction.

Turning to the terms and conditions - look for a definition or sentence that describes the services? Can you tell me how much the broker charged you?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3493
Experience: Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
Alex J. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
They charged £5000 but no doubt had commission from other people too.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

This is slightly speculative at this stage as I do not have the terms and conditions but for a £5000 fee regardless of what their terms and conditions say there is an implied condition under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 S.13 that the service will be provided with "reasonable care and skill".

If they have flat out misrepresented what has been sold or deliberately concealed information from you then at best this is a breach of the above section and at worst it is fraud.

As a consequence of a breach of S.13 you are entitled to claim all losses that are reasonably foreseeable. As a starting point this should be the fee they have charged plus any additional losses from not buying what you expected. A claim would have to be brought in the English Courts (you will find this should be relatively straight forward as we have a very detailed civil procedure) - you will also be able to claim back any costs incurred if you win.

As a starting point I would write to the UK broker and list your complaints. Tell them you are in the process of obtaining legal advice and ask them to confirm what address you should use for the purpose service.

I would then contact the law society, find a solicitor and take all the correspondence that you have to that solicitor. They will then be able to progress a claim against the broker if appropriate.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ

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