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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am selling a residential investment , I have exchanged on

Customer Question

I am selling a residential investment , I have exchanged on the property, however during the period that I was selling the property I developed very deep depression with psychosis and I was in a secure acute mental hospital, I got out for 1 day from the hospital to sign the exchange document, did not really read it, it was not fully explained to me by my solicitors and I was not of sound mind. I never told anyone that I had been in hospital though
A few days before exchange, I was released from hospital , emails were being exchanged
and under much duress I eventually sent an email saying COMPLETE
That was on Friday, by Monday as my mind cleared more I decided that I honestly did not want to complete indeed selling this property is possibly the worst thing that I could do and I wanted to stop the sale, still want to stop the sale
If I was not of sound mind during the signing and day of Exchange can I apply to stop the sale and not complete if so will there be penalty
Also what happens if at the time of completion I am back in a mental hospital how do I complete then if at all
I know that exchange is a binding contract, but I had just got out of a very noisy psychiatric hospital, my mind was not clear enough to make this decision, but I was under pressure as the buyer was going on holiday and wanted to complete
Can I refuse to sell on the grounds of my mental capacity at that time ? if so will I suffer huge penalties
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Did you know you were signing a document to sell the house?

Alex Watts :

I assume you did as you must have instructed Solicitors before you were unwell to deal with the sale?

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

Alex - yes I was aware - but I was under extreme pressure financially - I was admitted for the first time to a mental hospital secure unit , I managed to get out for 1 day in my mind I had to sign the exchnage, which I did

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

However it was not for a few days that I had to send an email saying complete, I was such a mess at this stage I did not know exactly what I was doing, I just felt I had to complete as there was deadline of the buyer going on holiday

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

Afterwards I did not sleep for 2 nights, little by little my brain worked out that I had done the wrong thing

Alex Watts :

If this is a residential investment have you purchased and sold before?

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

It is a residential investment, I have purchased and sold before , but honestly not having suffered pyscotic depression but yes I had previous experience

Alex Watts :

Did you know what you were doing when you exchanged? Did you understand that you were entering into a binding contract?

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

At the time i was under extreme ill health, pyscosis can make you step back from reality, I cannot say that I fully understood the implications of my actions at that time, when I have sold previously I was always committed to selling

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

I was more in fear of completing as I said I would , I did not really have tiome to think throug all of my actions

Alex Watts :

Why did you not tell anyone that you were in the mental hospital?

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

Confused , it was my first time, it was an horrific experience, I did not tell anyone as I kept hoping to get better I kept hoping to get out, but I was in there for 3 weeks

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

I told family but I told them not to tell anyone

Alex Watts :

Ok - when is completion? Are you discharged now?

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

Completion end of month, I am discharged back into the community

Alex Watts :

Ok - but would it not look from an outsiders point of view you are just trying to use this episode to get out of completion, after all you had instructed Solicitors?

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

My mind changed from Friday agreeing and Monday morning, I did not sleep 2 nights and hour by hour I worked out why I should not have copleted

Alex Watts :

But are you just having second thoughts, rather than saying you did not understand your actions?

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

To tell everyone that I have a mental illness is far from easy, hardly something one wants to use as a lame excuse

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

I am saying that my actions at the time was confused, by 1) the buyer going on holiday, I felt I had to complete

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

2) I was not obviously of sound mnd at that moment as I would not have agreed to cempletion

Alex Watts :

But if the situation was had over and you were not having treatment, would you have still instructed the Solicitor to complete?

Alex Watts :

Ok - the Mental Capacity Act 2005 states:

Alex Watts :

For the purposes of this Act, a person lacks capacity in relation to a matter if at the material time he is unable to make a decision for himself in relation to the matter because of an impairment of, or a disturbance in the functioning of, the mind or brain.

Alex Watts :

(1)For the purposes of section 2, a person is unable to make a decision for himself if he is unable—

(a)to understand the information relevant to the decision,

(b)to retain that information,

(c)to use or weigh that information as part of the process of making the decision, or

(d)to communicate his decision (whether by talking, using sign language or any other means

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

These are not second thoughts, this is me with a clear mind knowing that I had made a wrong decision

Alex Watts :

(2)A person is not to be regarded as unable to understand the information relevant to a decision if he is able to understand an explanation of it given to him in a way that is appropriate to his circumstances (using simple language, visual aids or any other means).

Alex Watts :

Therefore you need to speak to your Solicitor.

Alex Watts :

You will need confirmation that at the time you were not of sound mind

Alex Watts :

If this can be shown then completion can be halted.

Alex Watts :

But you need to show that you did not have capacity at the time of the exchange.

Alex Watts :

But speak to your Solicitor as he should be able to proceed matters for you

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

Harrowing and worried , what further implications this would have on my future business , obvious the Estate Agent and buyer could use this against me

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

How would I show that I did not have capacity at time of exchange

Alex Watts :

You need to speak to your Solicitor TODAY to get this halted.

Alex Watts :

You would need a report or something showing you were in the mental hospital

Alex Watts :

You would have a psychiatrist in there, he/she can prepare a report saying you did not have capacity.

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

So you think I must tell my solicitor

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

And can ib Halted what ere the inlications

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

implications

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

Going to go soon - so you feel that this should be halted - that I should contact my solicitors TODAY

Alex Watts :

You MUST tell your Solicitor. He can take action

Alex Watts :

I am not saying it should be halted, that is a matter for you

Alex Watts :

If you are saying at the time that you did not have capacity and having considered it, you feel you did not and do not want to proceed them tell your Solicitor.

Alex Watts :

If you did not have capacity and still want to proceed, then you need do nothing. As there would be no point.

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

Yes

Alex Watts :

Does this answer the question for you today?

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

as much as i can take in, I worry that the estate agents will jump all over it

Alex Watts :

Well there is not much they can do. If you did not have capacity that voids all steps you have taken

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question might I invite you to rate my service today

Alex Watts :

If the system wont let you or you need more help please click reply

JACUSTOMER-2mevihy9- :

hopefully the hospital will say that I did not have capacity even though was discharged into the community at the tiem, but I dod not feel fully recovered to take such decisions

Alex Watts :

You must have a report or the hospital confirming this.

Alex Watts :

If not you are stuck with the purchase.

Alex Watts :

Please do take a moment to rate before you go - thanks

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

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