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 Ash Your Own Question
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

I have recently purchased a 1st floor flat which the Estate

Customer Question

I have recently purchased a 1st floor flat which the Estate Agent has advertised the property with clear benefit of use of the communal rear garden, it is bulleted in the sales particulars as a selling point and also includes a large photograph of the rear garden. The Council now tell me that I have no use of the communal rear garden as it is solely for the ground floor tenants below.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

AlexWatts2013 : Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return.
AlexWatts2013 : What does your agreement say about this please ? Do you still have a copy of the advert?
JACUSTOMER-06249lh3- :

Yes, we do have a copy of the sales particulars though it doesn't seem possible to upload via your website, though I can attach them as a PDF file?

Full Size Image

JACUSTOMER-06249lh3- :

I have just seen that the sales brochure is available here and gives you all the sales information produced by the Estate Agent. The property is an ex-Council flat so the Council have existing tenants in the other flats below me.

AlexWatts2013 : Did you ask if you had access?
JACUSTOMER-06249lh3- :

We used the garden as thought it was part of our property for a month or so and dried our washing on the 'communal' clothes line. The other tenant then objected so then we raised it with the Council, who state we have no right to use the rear garden. The Estates Agents know they have breached the Misdescription Act but are now referring us to their solicitor. We only want compensation amounting to about £2,000 as we feel it has been sold a benefit of this property incorrectly, and if we had known it would have affected our final offer on the purchase price. What happens if we take them to the Small Claims Court?

AlexWatts2013 : But did they expressly say you had use of the garden please?
JACUSTOMER-06249lh3- :

The brochure clearing states 'communal rear garden' and shows a picture of it as it was a selling point of the property. We own the front garden and a brick built shed in the rear garden, and there is no dispute about this. The selling Agents and previous owner clearly said we could use the rear garden and the clothes line etc. The selling agent has confirmed that the owner of the property confirmed the rear garden was part of the deal. It only became a problem when the other tenant objected and we found we do not have use of the rear garden.

AlexWatts2013 : They actually said verbally you could use it, is that right? And now, what is it you want to achieve please?
JACUSTOMER-06249lh3- :

Yes it was verbally confirmed by the selling agent as being an asset of the property, plus clearly stated in the sales brochure (bulleted point and large picture on the back page of the particulars) as attached above for your info.

AlexWatts2013 :

Yes thank you for that. What is it you want to achieve out of this please?

JACUSTOMER-06249lh3- :

We think we are entitled to some compensation as they have clearly committed an offence under the Misdescription Act? The property is not as we thought when we put our offer forward and a selling point was use of the communal rear garden, especially as we are on the 1st floor.

AlexWatts2013 :

Indeed. I would write to them and state that they are in breach of contract pursuant to the The Estate Agents Act 1979 and that you wish to seek compensation for loss and damage as a result and if they do not respond you will issue proceedings within 14 days. You will need to send this letter recorded delivery and keep a copy.

AlexWatts2013 :

If they fail to respond then you can issue proceedings. You can do this online at: or by completing form N1 and taking it to your local County Court. They will then issue the claim and a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it. If they do not then you can enter Judgment and enforce it.

AlexWatts2013 :

If they do defend it the matter will be set down for a hearing. If your claim is £10,000 or below it will be a small claim and you will not need any form of legal representation.

AlexWatts2013 :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please? Alex

JACUSTOMER-06249lh3- :

Thank you Alex. I will follow your advice but my only concern is the cost involved with legal proceedings and likelihood of winning our case? What is the worse case scenario should we not win with regards to costs? Do you think the threat of doing so may make them issue the small amount of compensation we are asking for?

AlexWatts2013 :

If the claim is £10,000 or less then it will be a small claim and costs are limited.

AlexWatts2013 :

But a list of fees can be found here:

JACUSTOMER-06249lh3- :

Thank you Alex, that is very helpful. Will update you on how we get on. Regards,

AlexWatts2013 : Please do. If I could invite you to rate my service as it is an important part of the process and is how I get credited for my time, if you need more help then click reply. Alex
JACUSTOMER-06249lh3- : Thank u ok
AlexWatts2013 : You are welcome. All the best.

Related Property Law Questions