How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jo C. Your Own Question

Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69528
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
12826847
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

I bought a boat in cash from a private seller (stupid I know)

Resolved Question:

I bought a boat in cash from a private seller (stupid I know) Advertised through eBay as being in good condition and recently serviced. I did get a short test ride for 15 mins and all seemed ok. The morning after buying the boat I took it out with two friends and it broke down after roughly 40 minutes. Its cost me £1000 to get it recovered and investigated. Have i got any chance of getting any compensation or a refund from a small claims court? I have sent him a letter already (a template from citizens consumer advice) and offered him the chance to discuss through a dispute mediator, he said he'd prefer for it to go to court.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

From reading my first question do you think I have any hope of being successful if I take the seller to small claims court?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
What is the nature of the fault please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The boat has a mechanical fault. Quoted by an authorised engineer in needing either a £3600 rebuild or £5500 new engine. the boat was bought by me for £4600

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok. But what is the nature of the fault?
Or has he not told you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The engineer?

They told me the engine was full of sea water, suggested a possible crack in either the exhaust manifold or head gasket. 2 valves had lost compression and many seals had been ruined. the propeller drive (stern drive) was also discovered to have been flooded and needing £700 worth of repair.

Doe's knowing exactly what was wrong with the boat help you advise me to wether I would be likely to win any compensation or refund in a claims court?

Bot***** *****ne is the boat broke within an hour the day after I bought it which I can likely prove via the harbour master. Reducing the value from £4600 to £1000 if I'm lucky.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, it makes a real difference.
This is a private sale so the Sale of Goods Act does not apply. Therefore its not as simple as showing that there are faults.
The only way you can sue a private seller is to argue that there was a misrepresentation. You have to show that he said something untrue or misleading. Being in a 'good condition and recently serviced' is a very broad term. Recently serviced is clear enough and either that is true or it isn't. I think you probably have to proceed on the basis that it is for the moment. 'Good condition' is very vague. Being in a good condition does not necessarily mean there are no faults of any kind.
The advantage that you do have is that this fault developed very quickly so it is not going to be difficult to show that it was attributable to the seller.
Often people don't contest these things and just settle. Clearly he is digging his heels in.
If you show misrep though you don't have a claim for the cost of repair. The claim is for either a full refund and return of the boat or the diminution value between the price you paid and the sum it was worth.
In truth, it could go either way but I think its probably worth litigating over. You are likely to get something on the facts you present.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Is there anything that could help my case ie: a report from the engineer describing his findings and the state of the engine? or if i could get proof from the harbour master that I was out on that day and having mechanical problems? or the log from my phone showing the time line of events on the day I broke down showing my texts to the seller and calls made to the engineers/boat yards?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Its the engineer that you need.
I don't think there will be any problems with showing that there was a breakdown.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69528
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice