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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26783
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have just sold a property, on the back of the brochure it

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I have just sold a property, on the back of the brochure it says 2 beds and bedroom furniture and a fridge are included in the sale, this was never discussed with me and these items are 15 years old. I had the offer in writing and again, nothing mentioned only fixtures and fittings which I was told are light fittings and plug sockets, we have discared most of the items as they were old, but still have the beds which I have offered to return but don't see that I should as they were not in the offer, what should I do?
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience. Do I understand correctly that the agents specified these items without discussing with you please?Were you asked to approve the property particulars prepared by the agent?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes they were not discussed and there were 2 of us there, and my friend says they were definitely not disccussed, this was around a year ago, there were alot of mistakes with the initial brochure, I didn't read the back page to be honest only the information but it does say on the back 2 beds, bedroom furniture and fridge.However when the offer came through and it was being read to me, they said property fixtures and fittings when I asked what this entailed I was told light fittings and plug sockets no mention of any furniture,

Thank you. Unfortunately the information given by your agent binds you as the agents "principal" (client). Accordingly if the agents have specified items to be included then the will form part of your agreement with the buyer and the buyer can hold you to that. However that does not mean it is you that is left carrying the can so to speak. The agent owes you a duty of care and skill and a duty of obiedience under agency law. This means that they must do as they are told and must act with reasonable skill and care. If they failed to obtain approval to the particulars from you and/or included items which they had not instructions or authority to include then they are liable to you for any loss you suffer as a result. Estate agents are now required by law to be a member of the property ombudsman scheme - there are three such schemes in total. The property ombudsman has the power to independently determine any complaints you have in respect of the estate agent and award compensation where they find in your favour. Accordingly, if you suffer loss as a result of the agents incorrect particulars, you can initially raise a complaint with the estate agent in respect of their failure to obtain your approval in respect of the particulars and their inclusion of chattels which were not included in the sale and for which they had no instructions. as a result, you can seek to claim the amount of any loss as a result of that negligence. If you are satisfied with the estate agents response to your complaint, you can ask the estate agent the details of the property ombudsman they are a member of and then refer your complaint to that ombudsman. The estate agent is bound by the ombudsman's decision though you are not and you do have the right to issue proceedings in the small claims court if you are not satisifed with the outcome. the advantage of the property ombudsman services that there is no charge associated with the use of their service so it can be a free and straightforward way to resolve the majority of complaints against agents. I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have given them to reply to me by Monday morning if they want the beds brought back and a fridge purchased, would that be ok?

Yes I believe that is fine, though you may need to consider giving them a little longer than until Monday to reply as this would be considered very short opportunity to respond. Usually 7 days is considered the minimum reasonable notice. Other than that this seems fine.

If they are requested then retain a copy of the request in writing so you can show that you have incurred loss in the loss of the items and then consider raising a complaint with the agents and if necessary Ombudsman as above in order to seek to recover monies for the loss of the furniture.

I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Forgive me but I don't think you are understanding, I didn't want to keep any of this furniture, we dismantled and discared the bedroom furniture it was 15 years old, would have been easier to leave it there and would have saved us time, it was an old fridge not very nice to leave for a new owner to we dumped it also. I'm not looking for any compensation just don't want to be paying for all these items for the new owner. My friend has the beds but is happy for us to take them back to the property. I never wanted to keep any of the furniture

Thank you for clarifying these points - my apologies - you are correct I had not fully appreciated this from your initial posts. The position is essentially still as set out above as far as the agent is concerned however from what you say, there is the further complicating factor that you have disposed of some of the items which the agents incorrectly specified has been included. Accordingly, because you are bound by the agents mistake, there is little option but to offer the items to the buyer and where such items have been disposed of, you may need to consider acquiring replacement items of similar age and specification (there is no need to provide better or new items as replacement) or alternatively pay the buyer the replacement value of the items that have been disposed of instead. If you do not do this the buyer may (though by no means would) seek to claim such monies from you in the small claims court. whatever costs you do necessarily incur in the above, including any costs of transporting the items you have retained back to the property, you can seek to claim from the agents using the above complaint approach and if ecessary through the Ombudsman. Hopefully the buyers will decide either that they do not want the items given their condition or that they do not intend to pursue the matter any further and that will be an end to the matter but if they do, the above is the approach. Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

NO that's great thanks for everything, I have 3 or 4 questions like this a month, can I request your advice directly in future,

Yes of course. Please feel free to ask for me in the first line of any question. Please be aware though that I note you are in Scotland. I am based in England and therefore I do not have expertise to deal with all aspects of Scottish law. The above legal position is the same as it is in the England and Wales hence why I was happy to assist but the same is not always true and there are substantial differences between Scottish and English law. One of my collegaues specialises in Scottish law and will likely be able to assist in any areas I am not able to. I hope all resolves itself with the minimum of fuss with the above.
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