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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I recently sold my house and had to change estate agents through

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I recently sold my house and had to change estate agents through poor performance of the original agent. After I did so they told me I was still liable for their fees if anyone who viewed the property with them eventually bought it (they did). However, they never told me this before we started. They claimed they sent me a contract but I never received it and I never signed anything. All I have is an email exchange where they say 'no sale no fee' They are now quoting their standard terms and clauses and only raised this after I said I was leaving them. I have refused to pay them as we had no written contract and they never made me aware of their terms - if they had I would have negotiated in any case. Now they are threatening debt collection and legal action. Can you tell me where I stand and what the best course of action is?
Many thanks
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : Just to confirm there is no signed contract between you and the old agents please ?

Hi Alex, that is correct. They claim to have sent the contract to me but I never received it. They never mentioned it or asked me to sign anything before we started marketing the property - we agreed terms by exchange of email but this was limited to fees. the only thing I got in writing was in an email which said 'no sale no fee' After I terminated our agreement they told me that I would be liable for fees as per the terms of their contract even if another agent sold the property (which they did). I pointed out (in writing) that I had never seen far less signed their contract and I would never agree to sweeping clauses without a discussion/negotiation. However, they sent me a second quite rambling letter which stated they would raise an invoice, refer it to their legal services and debt collectors. I really want to close this down and not pay them a penny as I think they have behaved unprofessionally throughout.

Alex Watts : In that case you do not need to worry.
Alex Watts : There is no signed contract,

Hi Alex, but I am worrying as they seemed to be proceeding regardless. How can i stop them sending letters and proceed with invoicing and debt collection?

Alex Watts : They have not told you that you would be liable for fees if you cancelled or sold through another agent
Alex Watts : They simply can not charge you.

That's what I thought but they don't seem to be listening.

Alex Watts : I really wouldn't worry if the matter went to court as a small claim the first thing the judge would ask is prove the contract that days you can chagre,
Alex Watts : They can not
Alex Watts : Therefore the case ends
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

I would rather it didn't go to court how can I close this down before that happens?

Alex Watts : Of course. You just need to write and ask them for evidence of a contract that you are liable for the fees
Alex Watts : They can't show that
Alex Watts : Does that help?

I have already done that and they wrote to me with a selected editing of emails and said your language in here shows 'beyond reasonable doubt' that you must have received our contract - quite outrageous really. They seem to be proceeding regardless and it is worrying that they are doing so.


I feel i need something emphatic to close them down

Alex Watts : Sadly there is nothing more you can do save for complain to Trading Standards
Alex Watts : If enough people will they could be closed down

what about the national association of estate agents or the property ombudsman?

Alex Watts :
Alex Watts : Yes you can complain to those as well, but they don't have the power to close them down.
Alex Watts : Tradng Standards would

do you think they would act on something like this?

Alex Watts : With a single complaint no. But a number of complaintS yes

so that may not help me in this instance


would it make sense to engage a local solicitor and get them to draft a letter spelling things out for them?


would you please give me your opinion on my last question? thanks


Hi Alex are you still there?

Alex Watts : You can but this would cost you around £100 which you wouldn't get back.
Alex Watts : Sorry I was just having cereal!
Alex Watts : Does thatnhelo



but if they proceed regardless I may have to engage help - if it goes to court for example. I'm flabbergasted that it's got this far!


that am


that may cost me more than a pre-emptive letter?

Alex Watts : No - it would be a small claim and they nor you would be entitled to recover any legal fees. It would be a small claim if under £10,000 and you don't need representation
Alex Watts : You can send them a letter if you are willing to forgo the cost

In your professional opinion do you think that would stop them. My big concern is their mention of invoicing and debt collection services - can they do that under the circumctances?

Alex Watts : In reality it wouldn't stop them. They can try and pursue it but they simply have no legal grounds.
Alex Watts : Dont get drawn into it and say that you will not enter into any further correspondence

ok Alex thanks - last question I think! should I send them one last letter saying I will not enter into any further correspondence or just leave it?


or perhaps say I've taken advice and they have no legal grounds for proceeding?

Alex Watts : Yes both.
Alex Watts : They have no claim so you don't need to worry.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else for you today?

no thanks Alex

Alex Watts : If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.
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