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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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we spoke to you last week regarding a 15yr old motorhome that

Resolved Question:

we spoke to you last week regarding a 15yr old motorhome that we sold privately for £10,500. the purchasers still want us to have the van back because it is damp how do we stand
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

My colleague with whom you discussed this with previously is presently not online. Would you like to wait for him? Alternatively, I would be very happy to assist you. I have access to your previous exchange.

Customer:

yes please

Joshua :

Certainly. Would you bear with me for a few moments while i review your previous exchange?

Joshua :

May I ask did they purchase following an inspection of the vehicle in person?

Customer:

yes.they checked it inside and out and looked underneath the vehicle and my partner took them for a test drive.

Joshua :

thank you. I presume I would be correct to assume the damp that they have now discovered was not readily apparent at the time of inspection?

Customer:

no we new nothing about it at all.

Joshua :

thank you. On these facts, as my colleague has already outlined, because you are a private seller the only obligations upon you under the sale of goods act are that you have legal title to sell the vehicle and that the vehicle is as described in any advert. if you described the vehicle as being in good condition then the buyer has a reasonable expectation that the vehicle should be so however if they have the opportunity to inspect the vehicle before purchasing the same and the damp was not readily discernible to them at the time, it is logical to conclude that it would not have been readily discernible to you either and accordingly, there is no obvious evidence of a misrepresentation that they could demonstrate on this basis.

Joshua :

accordingly, based upon what you say, you describe the vehicle accurately based upon your knowledge of the same and there was no deliberate misrepresentation on your part. therefore legally you could consider a response that you would unaware of any issues with regards XXXXX XXXXX in relation to the vehicle and that you describe the vehicle honestly according to your knowledge of the same and they have the opportunity to inspect the vehicle fully before committing to the purchase. caveat emptor applies to private sales - let the buyer beware - and accordingly unfortunately you are unable to consider a refund in the circumstances

Joshua :

is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

thank you so much. so under any circumstances they are not entitled to their money back? this is what is bothering me.

Joshua :

Will they still possibly have a copy of the advert you posted for the vehicle describing it as in good condition?

Customer:

really not sure as it was advertised on autotrader,...as good condition because it was as far as we knew. i dont think it is on there now though because we sold it three weeks ago.

Joshua :

thanks. Because you advertised as being in good condition, I think it would be unfair of me to suggest that there is no possibility that they could ever claim their money back because if they were to issue proceedings in the court, it would be for a judge to decide whether you could have reasonably known about the damp at the time you sold and therefore made a misrepresentation in your claim that the vehicle was in good condition. If the judge concludes that you were likely to have known about the damp but chose nevertheless to describe the vehicle as in good condition, then they may be able to claim monies back on the basis of a misrepresentation on your part. However, because the buyers had the opportunity to carry out a thorough inspection before they purchased a failed to identify the damp themselves, this to me appears to be good evidence that on the balance of probability (which is the test applied) you did not know of the damp before you sold the vehicle because clearly had they notice the damp themselves, they would not have bought it

Joshua :

if you refuse to give them their money back which is your contractual right as above, all they can do is issue proceedings in the County court to attempt to recover their monies where a judge would test their claim on the above basis. if the judge finds that you did not know of the damp on the balance of probability based on the above evidence, then they will not be entitled to any money back. If the judge finds that you were likely to have known of the damp on the above evidence, then he may order their money returned. if you were to push for an opinion, my view would be that the facts favour you over the buyer for the above reason but as you will well know, litigation is by definition an uncertain science.

Joshua :

however, since the alternative is to simply roll over and pay them their money back, in the assumption you do not wish to do this, it seems to me that defending your position in the County court should they issue proceedings against you is the preferable option of course they may not issue proceedings

Joshua :

is there anything else I can help you with?

Customer:

what would your advice be about contact as they keep e-mailing us?

Joshua :

I think you can consider contacting them in the above terms setting out your position clearly as above. If you wish to prevent further medication, you may wish to go on to say that you would ask that they cease and assist further correspondence demanding monies as you will consider such further correspondence to constitute harassment.

Joshua :

The reason this can be effective is because having told them you consider their correspondence to be harassment, if they continue to send it, this is good evidence of actual harassment as provided for by the protection against us and intact which can lead to both criminal and civil peanlties.

Customer:

many thanks for your help.

Joshua :

A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer:

many thanks once again

Joshua :

Best wishes

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