Whoever took control of the goods and disposed of them is in breach of the Torts (interference with Good) Act 1977 which deals with goods left on premises. They have to make a reasonable attempt to contact the owner of the goods to tell them that they will be removed within a reasonable period of time. The reasonable period is not specified but is about one month depending on the nature of the goods and whether they would be easily available or not.
If the goods were in the property at the time of the purchase, and it was the buyer that sold them, then the buyer is responsible. I’m inclined to think that it’s not so much a scam as a situation where the buyer thought that he was able to simply dispose of these goods.
Whether the receiver has any culpability would depend on whether he simply sold the building with whatever was in it and didn’t actually sell the goods themselves.
Even if they had tried to contact you and couldn’t for any reason they had you had not removed the goods, they still have to count to you for the proceeds.
If you issue proceedings against the buyer, it is not going to be particularly quick and it could easily be 12 months before this get to court. There is no way of speeding up process. I don’t know what defence the defendants going to come up with but these proceedings are not going to be cheap and if you were to lose, and the defendant were using solicitors, you could face legal costs running into tens of thousands of pounds. By the same token, if the defendant loses, he would be ordered to pay whatever value the was in the goods and pay your own legal costs as well as his own.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Please don’t forget to rate the service positive. It is an important part of the process by which experts get paid.
We can still exchange emails if you wish.