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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22401
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
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i wish to lodge a complaint against an estate agent for business

Customer Question

i wish to lodge a complaint against an estate agent for business transaction.is there a ombundsman fof business transfer agents
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name is Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day most weekdays and weekends.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Law,


 


Thank you for your response.


 


We have recently competed a sale of business/residential via an Estate Agent. In the first instance we made it clear that we did not want any local advertising with regards to sale of the business. The Agent introduced us to the buyer. At this point we agreed with the buyer that we are happy to accept his offer and to move forward.


 


After the confirmation from the buyer, and the estate agent that the purchase had been agreed, a press release in the local newspaper was published via the request of the Estate Agent revealing all personal details, including the final leasehold price, and rental details..


 


When we questioned the estate agent how and why they put this information in the local newspaper, their response was "They took it from our website". On further investigation by us we we discovered that this was a lie and they had requested the article themselves to be published. We have the email which was forwarded from the local newspaper which proves that they had lied to us.


 


As you can appreciate this caused a number of problems, e.g. Staff uncertainty, customers questioning us every minute, distress, embarassment, just to name a few.


 


We negotiated most of the sale ourselves, as we had been embarassed from the article which was published, and we needed to salvage the sale of the business, due to my detoriatting health. ( I had a heart bypass very recently)


 


We complained to Estate Agent verbally, however there was no resolution offered apart from a a very brief apology letter in the first instance. Then we received another apology letter, which stated that the agent understood the reasons why we did not want local publicity, and promising us that it would not happen again. As you can imagine it was too late at this point!


 


 


We then wrote a letter of complaint after the sale had been completed asking for compensation, however this was rejected on the basis that because we had paid the estate agency fees on completion. However as explained before - we wanted to sell the business and not want to be embarassed again by their solicitors chasing us for the fees.


 


Could you please give us your thoughts on this, and advise further.


 


Many Thanks


 


Raj

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

Is the agent in NAEA or Property Ombudsman service?

It should be on the letterhead.

If not happy, why did you pay the bill in full?

Did the solicitor pay it and if so did you tell him to or did he just do it when the agent sent his bill in? Did you authorise payment in any other way?

What loss have you suffered?

Thanks

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Just shows they are members of RICS.


The main reason to pay the bill was we did not want to face any embrassment by the companys solictors pinning us to ground for not paying


We had given our solicitor the cheque to authorise the payment upon completion.


Embarrsament at all the time & distress as it was clearly indicated to the agents that we did not wont any local publicity in the local paper


FirstlyThe business already had received the offer which had been agreed with the purchasers.


Secondly the agents have apologised in writing that this should have not happened.


Loss is our name by giving wrong info to our customers who have been with us for the past 16 years


My father put under lot of pressure from everyone trying to find out imagine ten /12 tweve people asking us have you sold , who is the new proprietor when are you leaving ,have you found a house


this is lot of stress apart from answering the purchasers with all the details which should have been done by the agent concerned.


 

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
So what are you looking to achieve?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


The fees charged plus one years rent if not anymore.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.


Thank you. I think that you are being optimistic.
I am sorry to be so blunt but I don't think that you are actually suffered any
loss other than loss of reputation. There is no financial loss which would be
easy to quantify.

Because of that, this is likely not to be small
claims court although you never know which track the court will allocate such a
matter to.



If the amount you want is over £10,000, it will
certainly not be small claims court and if you lose, you would end up paying
the estate agents legal costs. There is no doubt in my mind that they are in
breach of contract and breach of the provision of the Supply of Goods and
Service is Act but the difficulty is actually ascertaining what that is worth.



I cannot see on what basis you can possibly be
entitled to one year's rent.



I can see a basis on which you would be entitled
to a substantial rebate of the agent's fee and my suggestion would be to start
negotiating at about 50%.



Unfortunately, if they don't beatifically roll
over and get their cheque book out you are faced with taking them to court with
all the inherent costs and risks.



I appreciate that this is not the answer you
wanted but there is no point in me misleading you. I have a duty to advise you
truthfully and honestly, even if that answer is unfavourable. Please remember
that you are not paying me to go to court on an hourly rate and therefore I
have no vested interest in saying whether this is a good claim or a bad claim.



I do think it is a good claim but I don't think
it is worth what you are anticipating based upon the facts that you have given
me unless you can prove substantial distress as a result of it.



Does that answer the question? Can I assist
further or answer any specific queries?



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Regards.



PS Experts on here are online and off-line all day each day and
weekends so please bear with me if I do not get back to you immediately.



PS. I use voice type, voice recognition typing because I only
type with two fingers and it would take me ages. Sometimes, a computer does not
hear me correctly and you will get an incoherent word. I do try to but
sometimes they slip through. I apologise therefore if anything doesn't make sense.
It is me losing it, not you. Just ask if anything is not clear please.



I am off-line shortly until late this evening but will pick this
up then.

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