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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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We agreed with teh buyers of our house to vacate the property

Resolved Question:

We agreed with teh buyers of our house to vacate the property by a certain date and they would pay us an extra £2500 on completion. The estate agents advised this money was to be held with them but turned out it wasn't and simpy gave them our bank details on completion and handing over the keys and we have yet to receive the payment. Who is to blame and can we take them to court to get this money? The agreement was made using the estate agent as a go between and i have an email from the estate agent confirming our buyers offer and us accepting this but nothing in writing from teh buyers themselves( again the estate agent was supposed to get this and didn't). Where do we stand as we have moved into a holiday let and paid £2500 which was supposed to be covered by this money
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hi thanks for your question. My name is***** can answer this for you.

tdlawyer :

Why do you think the estate agents are at fault here?

Customer:

I don't know who is at fault here, I probably should have insisted on the money before handing the keys over but they assured me the payment was being done. I want to know if we will have a chance of getting this money from our buyers through the small claims court using the estate agents as witnesses to the agreement and using the emails they sent me detailing this agreement and the offer made . Or would you apportion some blame to the estate agent and try and get them to cough this money up and them to follow up with our buyers? What is our best course of action? I want to wrote a letter to our buyers outlining what we plan to do but want to ensure I know what I am talking about first. The estate agent has tried calling them and left several messages and nothing...

tdlawyer :

If you have the agreement in writing that they promised you £2,500 on completion, then I would have thought you'd stand a reasonable prospect of getting judgment at a small claims hearing. Of course, I cannot comment specifically and I dont have sight of all the documents etc.

tdlawyer :

The small claims system is very informal, although it is still a court of law.

tdlawyer :

It's often worth trying to recover money through this system as there is little prospect of being ordered to pay lawyers costs if you lose.

tdlawyer :

It would be difficult I expect to blame the estate agent, as it's not obvious to me why necessarily they would be at fault.

tdlawyer :

The buyers are likely to be the better option I would have thought.

Customer:

The big issue is whether the estate agents did ever get anything in writing for them, do we still have any chance of getting anything back if it was all verbal? i am assuming they hold notes on each sale and certainly I have emails between myself and the estate agent detailing this offer. I think there are at least two people in the estate agents who were party/invloved with the negiotations too.

tdlawyer :

What was the extra £2,500 for?

Customer:

This was for vacating and completing the sale of our house by the 12th June which was when their mortgage offer expired. We have had to go into a holiday let for 5 weeks with two children and two cats as our house won't complete until July at earliest so basically this is covering the cost of this( which I have already paid for). they offered us £2k initially and we said no and they then increased this to £2500. We decided to take the money and vacate to help them out and not lose them as buyers which may have happened had they had to make another mortgage application. I had wanted this to all go via the solicitor but stupidly didn't push for it.

tdlawyer :

Yes, normally, you see, you have to have all terms relating to a purchase in the written agreement, or be evidenced in writing. This is because of s.2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989, which makes oral contracts relating to the sale of land etc., unenforceable unless they're in writing.

tdlawyer :

It might be that you could argue this was a separate agreement, relating to the something else, rather than the transfer of the land and thus avoid these provisions.

tdlawyer :

But you might find that difficult to do.

Customer:

Worth a try I guess, thanks that advice has been really handy

tdlawyer :

Thank you! ***** ask whether you're happy with the service today please?

tdlawyer :

Thank you! Can I ask whether you're happy with the service today please?

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