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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25437
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have signed a head of terms (option to buy) a residential

Resolved Question:

I have signed a head of terms (option to buy) a residential property which has been signed by both parties and witnessed by the vendors friend. I have exchanged with £1 i.e. (paying the vendor ) I have agreed to pay the vendors mortgage + credit cards + loans as well as look after the property.
The term was 10 years. The vendor now wants the property back!
Does a Head of Term hold good in a court? How do I stop the vendor + his solicitor from harassing the tenants

Regards

Al
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I clarify that you have signed a 10 year option to purchase the sellers property please and paid £1 as consideration for the option?

Customer:

Thanks Joshua yes

Joshua :

Does the agreement provide that you are to be a tenant of the property for the option term - I note you refer to renting out the prperty and paying the mortgage etc?

Customer:

no

Joshua :

Thanks. So is the arrangement that you pay the mortgage etc just something that was agreed verbally? Have you actually paid any of the same to date?

Customer:

The intent was that I buy it over the 10 years

Customer:

we have signed a head of terms

Customer:

and witnessed by the vendor's friend

Joshua :

Thanks. So you are to make stage payments over 10 years to buy the property?

Customer:

no we agreed on the purchase price in 10 years +pay his monthly interest only mortgage +personal loans + credit cards + maintain property pay all bills and buy it anytime in 10 years

Joshua :

Thanks. Are you entitled to any rights to the property before you purchase - e.g. to occupy or rent it out?

Customer:

yes but it is not mentioned in the Hot

Customer:

We have done up the property to a good standard

Customer:

and are up to date on all payments

Joshua :

Thanks. Finally - I note you have signed heads of terms. Have you also signed the option agreement yet or not? If not do the heads of terms make reference to their being "subject to contract"?

Customer:

no nothing of that sort

Joshua :

Have you also signed the option agreement yet or not?

Customer:

only head of terms

Customer:

which reads as "grant of an option to investor by owner"

Joshua :

Thanks. If the heads of terms nor any covering letter do not refer to "subject to contract" and you can demonstrate that acts have been taken which show an intention of the parties to commence the agreement set out in the heads of terms - e.g. payment of monies provided for under the heads of terms - then you have evidence of the existence of an agreement which can be enforced in court.

Joshua :

There is no requirement that an agreement must be made in writing but it is better that it is in order to avoid potential for disagreement.

Customer:

Sorry I am not sure about the last line pl explain

Joshua :

The grant of such a long option would normally be by way of a formal option agreement but if you can show that terms have been agreed and payments have been made and accepted by the other party there is a basis to claim a contract.

Customer:

how do I stop the vendor from entering the property and harassing the tenants

Customer:

what is my next course of action?

Joshua :

If you wish to enforce the option, you may consider in the first instance writing to the other party referring to the heads of terms which have been signed and the fact that payments have been made under the same, and actions taken in relation to the property by you to your detriment (e.g. decorating) and you intend to hold the other party to the terms of your agreement as set out in the heads of terms.

Joshua :

If the other party contests your view there is the potential for litigation on the point but on the above basis you would appear to have the basis of a reasonable case though it would be necessary to examine the correspondence and documentation to give an indication of the merits of the same.

Customer:

Do you take up such cases?

Joshua :

Unfortunately I am prohibited from accepting private referrals under the terms of this site. Most larger law firms would have litigation lawyers which could assist however

Customer:

HEADS OF TERMS


GRANT OF A PURCHASE OPTION TO INVESTOR BY OWNER


Owner’s Name (1)____________________________________________________________


(2)_____________________________________________________________


Investor’s Name:_____________________________________________________________


Property Address: ____________________________________________________________


___________________________________________________________________________


Purchase Price: £______________/or Amount to discharge all loans upon completion (Delete as appropriate)


Owner’s Address if different from above: _______________________________________________


__________________________________________________________________________________


Owner to be legally represented: Yes No


Details of solicitor acting for Owner: ___________________________________________________


__________________________________________________________________________________


Option Period: _____________ Months or TERM of the mortgage.


Estimated start date: __________________________________


Option Fee paid to Owner by Investor: £________ Pounds _______________ only.


Owner Mortgage Lender name: _______________________________________________________


Address: __________________________________________________________________________


__________________________________________________________________________________


TERMS & CONDITIONS OF PAYMENT


1. An additional payment of £_____________ Pounds __________________________________only will be paid once all the outstanding loans and credit cards are sorted out with respective lenders.


2. Owner agrees to allow unrestricted entry to the property stated above.


3. Investor agrees to pay the monthly mortgage from ______________________.


4. Investor agrees to pay the minimum amounts towards the respective loans & credit cards from ___________________________________________________.


5. Owner agrees to allow investor to collect all rents from present tenants from _____________________________________________


6. Investor agrees to pay Council Tax, Water Bill, Electric & Gas Bill from the date the property is handed over in a vacant position.


7. Owner agrees to give all keys to the Investor on signing of this agreement.


8. Sale will only take place once the Freeholder has been located and necessary long term lease has been created. All cost will be shared equally by Seller and Investor.


9. Vendor agrees to assist the Investor in all matters pertaining to the property so as to make the property sellable in terms of the lease, renting the property and an agreed sale within a given time frame of 12 months.


This agreement has been agreed by both parties today the 14th April 2014.


SELLER IS ADVISED TO SEEK LEGAL ADVICE FROM THE CITIZEN ADVICE BUREAU OR ANY OTHER ORGANISATION OFFERING HELP WITH SUCH MONEY MATTERS. THIS AGREEMENT WILL BE BINDING ON BOTH PARTIES.


Owner’s Name: ___________________________________________________________________


Signature: ______________________________________________________


Investor’s Name: ___________________________________________________________________


Signature: ______________________________________________________


Witness Name: _____________________________________________________________________


Signature: _____________________________________________________


Address of Witness::_________________________________________________________________


__________________________________________________________________________________


__________________________________________________________________________________



Customer:

This is the copy of the head of terms

Customer:

How can I stop the vendor from entering the property until the court decides?

Joshua :

Are there tenants in the property who pay rent?

Customer:

yes tenants put in by me

Joshua :

Thanks. If there are tenants in the property then the owner has no right of entry. You may advise that any attempt to gain entry to the property against the tenants wishes will be considered as harrassment and a potential offence under the Protection Against Eviction Act which can give rise to both criminal and civil penalties.

Joshua :

you can advise the tenants that if they experience any difficulties they may refuse entry and contact the Local Authoritys housing officer who can assist them with seeking a prosecution if necessary and/or warning off the individual.

Joshua :

Is there anything else I can help you with?

Customer:

what about a court injunction

Joshua :

You could seek an injunction but there will be costs associated with the same. The Local Authority's housing officer will achieve much the same end without exposure to such costs.

Joshua :

If you wanted to proceed with a court injunction you can issue the same on form N16A however

Joshua :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=402

Customer:

why will the local housing officer get involved as the tenants are all private and not on housing benefit

Customer:

can I do the injunction myself or need to use a solicitor

Joshua :

The housing officer will act on behalf of private and council tenants alike because the local authority has obligations under the Protection Against Eviction Act to prevent unlawful evictions in the private sector as well.

Joshua :

You can apply for an injunction yourself but my view would be you would be spending monies unnecessarily in view of the above.

Joshua :

Is there anything else I can help you with?

Customer:

what will be the cost

Joshua :

An injunction will cost from memory £125 to issue but the real potential costs are i the event the other party chooses to contest the injunction which could be potentially thousands. It seems to me this is a tactically unwise approach as if you are going to encourage litigation it would be better to consider spending money on determining the validity of the above agreement rather than spending money on the narrow issue of access for the owner

Customer:

Sorry but how do I determine the validity of the agreement??

Customer:

pl advice

Joshua :

You would put your position forward as discussed above. If the other party contests your position then the matter must be determined by a court.

Customer:

I am confused

Customer:

Pl give me brief instructions as what I need to do

Joshua :

May I refer you to my above proposed course of action. To restate:

Joshua :

If you wish to enforce the option, you may consider in the first instance writing to the other party referring to the heads of terms which have been signed and the fact that payments have been made under the same, and actions taken in relation to the property by you to your detriment (e.g. decorating) and you intend to hold the other party to the terms of your agreement as set out in the heads of terms.



If the other party contests your view there is the potential for litigation on the point but on the above basis you would appear to have the basis of a reasonable case though it would be necessary to examine the correspondence and documentation to give an indication of the merits of the same.



Joshua :

In essence it is a case of you putting forward your view that the agreement is valid and enforceable. If the other party disagrees then the only way to resolve the disagreement is by negotiation and if that fails, by litigation in court.

Joshua :

I hope that is of assistance. I have an appointment which regrettably I must leave for. Is there anything else I can help you with before I leave for the same?

Customer:

No not now thanks

Joshua :

A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.

Customer:

how do I contact you again

Joshua :

You can contact me using the following link should you have any further queries. I would be please to assist.

Joshua :

http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-joshua/

Customer:

what will be the fees to pay

Customer:

this is the last question

Joshua :

For this service?

Customer:

to contact again

Joshua :

You choose the fee you pay when you ask for assistance. Generally a payment in the region of £30 is fine unless the question is very simple in which case it can be less, or very complex in which case sometime it may be a little more. However it is your choice.

Customer:

thanks

Joshua :

A pleasure. If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

Customer:

I will do that

Joshua :

Many thanks

Customer:

God Bless you sir

Joshua :

And to you. I hope you are able to resolve the matter amicably

Joshua and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

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