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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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My boyfriend put his boat up for sale with a boat sales

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My boyfriend put his boat up for sale with a boat sales company. When he signed the contract the man told us that until he had the relivent paperwork and the boat was not on their free mooring and not advertised then if my boyfriend decided not to sell then that would be ok . My boyfriend didn't give in the relivent paper work and the boat has not been advertised and was not moved on to the free mooring and has decided not to sell. The sales people have been on the phone threatening him with legal action for their commission. How does my boyfriend stand with this ?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

How long ago was this?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He put his boat up for sale with them about 4 weeks ago I can find out the exact date. Monday 19th of this month he told them he didn't want to sell it .
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. From a legal perspective it is highly unlikely that they would have any sort of claim against him. First of all they had formally agreed at the start that he had the option of removing the boat and not selling it until certain conditions had been met. These conditions have not yet been met so from a contractual point of view they are acting in breach of contract by not adhering to the terms that they had agreed to.

Secondly, it does not appear that they had agreed to any commission terms or when they would become payable. Usually that would only happen if the boat sales and they would be due commission for the work they did on selling it. If there was no sale and no discussion or agreement about being liable for commission before a sale they cannot just enforce that now.

So they may threaten him with pursuing him for commission but in the circumstances that would be a rather difficult claim and one which is unlikely to succeed.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have should a claim be made against him, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
They did discuss commission when he signed the contract but they told us that would only come into play once the boat had been moved and they had seen and had copies of the boat paperwork . The regional manager has contacted me and my boyfriend has to email her to say he's happy for them to discuss what has happened. I have looked on their website the boat is not advertised and they haven't even been round to take any pictures .
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

ok so the commission is still conditional on several things happening first, which have not yet happened. As a conditional contract, the conditions must be satisfied for the commission to come into effect. As they have not, they cannot realistically ask for it at this stage.

As mentioned, I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have should a claim be made against him, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. As mentioned they cannot force him to pay anything unless they actually go to court, make a claim and manage to win. Considering the circumstances of the case, that may be difficult for them to do. However, there is nothing stopping them from actually proceeding with making a claim. Assuming that the commission they are after is below £10k then this matter would go to the small claim court. This is a relatively low risk option because even if he was to lose, he would not be responsible for the other side’s legal fees and then at least he would know that a court of law has ruled that they are in the right. Also if he cannot pay the commission at once he can try and get the court to order a staggered payment over time.