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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50157
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Have sold a 3yr old Chihuahua nearly 3 wks ago. Lady who bought

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Have sold a 3yr old Chihuahua nearly 3 wks ago. Lady who bought her took her to vets at RSPCA and was told that she would need operation on hind leg and in time the other hind leg costing £2,000.00. This was a problem that we knew nothing about until now. I visited the lady and offered her the money back with the choice of either I take the dog or she could still keep her and have the money. The lady wants me to pay for the operations or go halves. I told her that unfortunately like her I was unable to pay. I don't work and I claim no benefits as my partner keeps me. He is semi-retired and only works a 3 day week. I also explained because of the situation , if I took the dog back that I would have her put to sleep as I wouldn't want the dog to suffer because I cannot afford the operations. I have left the lady to think things over until next week. Please could you let me know how I stand in this situation.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. When a person buys something from a private seller, their rights will be somewhat limited and will not be as extensive as if they had bought it from a business seller. Certain sections of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (which mainly applies to business transactions) would still apply but the buyer’s protection would certainly not be as extensive. In general, there is no legal requirement for the item (this can include living things like pets, horses, etc) to be of satisfactory quality. Therefore, the buyer will only have rights if the dog did not match the description given, whether in the advert or any subsequent discussions. This would amount to breach of contract or misrepresentation So if you had told them that it is entirely problem-free and had no issues but then it happened that it did have medical issues, you may be held in breach of contract. That could be even if you did not know of these issues but still made the guarantee that they did not exist. In any event, a breach would only mean that you have to place the buyer in the position they were before that breach, which simply means refunding them the payment they made. They cannot force you to pay for any additional treatment so your obligations only go as far as refunding them the money they paid - if they want to go ahead and treat the dog that is up to them but they cannot force you to pay towards that. I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There was no reference to the dogs health at point of sale. As far as I was concerned the dog was healthy so there was never any mention of health issues. It was a week later that the lady contacted me with concerns over the dog's leg. I questioned whether she could have hurt it out in the garden, which she replied no.
How would you suggest that I approach the lady with the information that you have given me, without causing any animosity.
There is no guarantee that any animosity would be avoided as that depends on how the other party feels about this and their views. However, legally you would have no responsibility to contribute to the costs of treatment and you can simply advise her that whilst you are sorry to hear about these issues, you were not aware of them and at no point did you make any references to the dog's health so you are not liable. If you want to you can offer to take the dog back and refund the money and that is the best they can expect in the circumstances.