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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71155
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My husband and I (in his name) agreed to buy a boat last Tuesday,

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My husband and I (in his name) agreed to buy a boat last Tuesday, he signed a hand written agreement which stated that he agreed to buy the boat, put down a £5 deposit and would pay £5,000 today and the balance of £33,000 by 1st Sept. We have decided not to go ahead and informed him of our decision on Thursday by email.
He has sent a threatening email today saying that he is consulting his legal advisors and is pursuing full payment and costs.
Is this likely to be a threat as it seems to us that by pulling out of the sale we just lose the deposit.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Has he suffered any loss?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No we said we didn't want to proceed with the purchase within 48 hours
Thank you.
You are in breach of contract on the fact that you present a bath and he does have a claim against you. However, he can only claim the sum of his loss and he still has the boat to sell to somebody else.
He cannot force you to buy this boat. All he can do is claim may be for advertising costs and other out-of-pocket expenses actually incurred.
Probably his threat is hollow as is unlikely that he would want to sue for such a small sum of money.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** you mean by present a bath, it is probably auto correct.
He states that's:
"You are aware and were made aware prior to agreement, that you would enter into so have entered into a legal contract, even though it was not a standard printed form.
The contract and agreement were made of your own free will. I willingly certified"
He says that he is submitting copies of all documents for legal consideration in order to recover the debt.
But as far as we are concerned there is no debt, as he still has the boat in his possession.
He said it was pointed out that he could not back out and neither could we but this is not in writing and we aren't aware of this being said.
That is a dictation error!
It should have read that you are in breach but he only has a claim for his loss.
Don't worry about what he states. The above is trite law and any solicitor will tell him that.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can you let us know what is trite law please Jo?
He also finishes by saying that:
If I am forced to pursue the debt recovery option, I must inform you that I will seek to recover any subsequent charges and any costs that may be incurred in the recovery.
But as far as we are concerned, we would really like to know that we
have let him know within a short period of time (48 hours) and therefore it is unlikely that he has lost any possible sales, we will forfeit the tiny £5 deposit and he can resell his property, his boat, as we never had it in our possession.
Can you also help with the cooling off period? Is there one in a private sale such as this?
Thank you
That breach of contract only gives rise to a claim for actual loss.
The quick cancellation is a non issue.
There is no cooling off on private sales or otherwise unless you agree one save for distance sales.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So we've breached the contract and what has he lost? Is that correct? So costs, but not the sale of the boat as it is still in his possession and always has been?
He asked me to write out the agreement, he dictated and my husband and he (the vendor) signed.
Does this have any implications? There was also no witness signature.
We really just want to know if he's trying to scare us to go through with buying his boat but he has no leg to stand on legally?
As I said above, he cannot force you to buy the boat.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can he go through the courts and end up costing us more than the £38,000 price tag of the boat?
No, as I have said, he cannot force you to buy the boat so doesn't have a claim for that sum.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
One more question, his latest threatening email has been very formal and we haven't replied, should we respond or ignore? As he may be trying to frighten us with legal action.
I wouldn't bother.
He is not going to agree with you.
If you are going to respond then just say no more than that you don't accept liability.
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