I refer to the last paragraph of my question:
'Please will you give me an idea of the strength of my case and also let me know whether it is possible to speak to an advisor in person'.
I would also like to know whether encouraging discussion, although to no prevail, will strengthen my case (as mentioned under note worthy point and already tried)?
How do you feel this situation may pan out?
Online contact is okay, but I am now a bit concerned about how long it may take to get an indication of my legal standing.
The issue is simply that the lawyer who bought the car is suing me for negligence. Alleging that I sold a car that I claimed was in a good condition (I based this on its recent clear MOT & previous service history) but when he serviced the car a month after purchase it needed costly repair work done to the breaks. In short, he wants me to pay for this. (The background behind this and the steps already taken is clearly detailed in my initial e-mail).
I don't feel I should be held liable as I did disclose all I knew about the car, so did in deed sell the car in good faith. If he wasn't satisfied with something I feel he should have contacted me immediately after purchase and most certainly before paying the costs of repairs. As far as I am aware at that point he could have legally asked me for a refund but he chose to pay for the repairs without contacting me, loosing his window to take any action.
Please will you give me an indication of how to proceed, as mentioned in my initial e-mail, the buyer is asking me for a formal letter of response to his claim.
Is it now clear to you?
No, I disclosed everything I knew about and could have been expected to know about. I couldn't possibly have known about the breaks as the breaks are checked during a MOT. The MOT was done about a week before selling the car and it came back clear. Furthermore, I don't believe it was necessary to replace the disc pads considering the mechanic who did the MOT didn't feel it was necessary. It is therefore likely that the buyer (who has legal knowledge) simply wanted the luxury of new breaks and is abusing his position and placing me under severe distress.
What are your comments on this?
Could you give me an idea of what evidence he may be able to produce?
I provided MOT (my mechanic felt nothing was wrong) and full service history. Would he then provide his mechanics report that presumably says there was something serious wrong? Then standoff between mechanics?
I think he is expecting me to reply to his letter by either accepting, rejecting or making another offer in order to resolve this. In an offer I think I will use this diminution value you refer to. I am not too sure how to calculate this:
- I paid £600 for car 3 months prior to selling it.
- I sold car for £450 (quick sell & little tax left).
- Had another offer to take 'as is' for £400 (felt obligated to follow through with buyer as he contacted me first)
- Scrap value of car +/- £300
Fair offer to him:
1. Difference between two sales prices (£450-£400=£50)
2. Difference between what he paid and scrap value (£450-£300=£150)
3. Zero because the car was sold at a discounted rate (£450-£600=£0)
For argument sake, I make offer not to pay this guy. Do you think it will go to county court? Or is too minor an issue?
To me this is a matter of principle. I am insulted; I really acted in good faith.
Should the claim go to small claims court (and I think it will), will he only be able to sue me for the diminution value? Or can he include costs such as legal fees, court fees, travel costs, his time etc? This is something he threatens in his pre-action letter.
He also wants to sue me for the cost of him taking his driving licence test and sent me his certificate as proof. The weird thing is that he took the test a month after buying the car and just 2 or 3 days before taking the car to the mechanic. Now, he never told us he didn't have a licence when he took the car for a test drive. Is that not negligence? He also mislead us during negotiations while selling the car. He asked us to travel to him (several miles away) to deliver the car because he didn't yet have insurance. Yet, now that we know about the driving test, it was clear that he didn't have insurance because he didnt have a licence. Are either of these grounds to counter sue?
He thinks he has grounds for claiming because when I asked him why he didn't contact me at time of quote but rather after paying for repairs he said that he had already spent so much money on the car (insurance, tax & drivers licence), he couldn't walk away from the transaction. To me this is ridiculous because the drivers licence he would need in any event, and the insurance as well as tax is largely refundable if cancelled.
Is there an argument for not paying anything because he didn't contact me before paying the repair costs?
Does intention play a role misrepresentation?
This clause was initially in the Deed of Sale but subsequently removed (reason disclosed in markup comment).
'The Buyer will arrange for the car to be checked in a garage on or before the 1st of May 2014. Should that check reveal hidden failures and should repair of those failures cost more than two hundred pounds sterling (£200.00) exclusive of VAT the Seller will indemnify the Buyer for any excess sum'.
Mark Up Comment:
Lauren Murphy: We propose that this clause be removed entirely from the contract. We have another prospective buyer that is prepared to buy the car as is for £400. It is in good faith that we are selling the car and do not feel we should have to carry any financial burden associated with repair. As the clause currently stands we may even incur a financial loss on the transaction.
Does this not imply that the car was effectively sold 'as is'? The Buyer (who is a lawyer) agreed to remove this because of that mark up comment that states 'another buyer was going to take it 'as is').
Does this not mean that there wasn't misrepresentation?