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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I went to see a horse I was interested in buying, I gave the

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I went to see a horse I was interested in buying, I gave the seller a deposit cheque and I arranged a vetting visit, the seller told me her horse would not pass the level of vetting that I had arranged, so I told the seller I would not proceed and cancelled my cheque, the seller is now threatening to take me to court
Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Did the seller ever say the deposit was non refundable? Did you make it clear the sale was conditional on the vetting report? Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The seller gave me a receipt for the deposit cheque which said the balance of 3,150 was to be paid on or before collection of the horse, I told her that I would want to get a vetting done. I then contacted a vets local to the seller to book a vetting, but as this was my first horse purchase, I did not know the level of vetting I would need. The vets booked me for a 5 stage detailed vetting, and said if I had a lower level vetting I would need to sign a disclaimer as it was not as thorough a check up. I texted the seller to tell her the vetting was arranged and she asked me what level I had booked I told her I had booked a stage 5 and she said
"I wouldn't think she is fit enough for a 5 stage, and if its wet there is nowhere to ride for a 5 stage I would have thought a 2 stage was enough 5 stage is for competition horses not family hacks, where will Jane be able to canter a*****if wet"
I told the owner I had booked a 5 stage, later in the day when I got home not when I was there trying the horse as I had not booked it at the time. I also told the owner I would take advice and get back to her. I felt I did not know enough about horses to buy one with a lower level of vetting. I took advice from other horse owners about the level of vetting and also contacted the vets to ask their advice, and the day after I had paid the deposit, I texted the owner to tell her I would not be proceeding, The owner then told me when I texted to tell her I was not going to proceed that she had found the horse a nice home. This was the day after I had paid my deposit and was taking advice about the level of vetting. The owner is now threatening me with a court letter for me to give her the deposit back. Can she do this?It sounds like they are worried about her passing a 5* vetting. She would prob fail such a high pressured check due to her fitness level and maybe her confirmation and they are right - if they haven't got access to a school it might be hard to do everything needed.
Saying that ...
I consider a vetting to be like having a survey done on a house - it is for the purpose of gathering information on what you are buying, best interpreted if you consider all of the information rather than just asking the vet for a statement of pass/fail. She could fail on certain things that won't affect the work you would like to do with her.
Another option is a 2* with bloods taken so they can check for pain killers/sedatives?
Maybe have a word with the vets in the morning and see what they recommend.
It's a hard decision as you obviously like the mare. But I would want the best chance of getting a sound horse as possible.
You can always ring me in the morning after you've talked to the vets.Mon 22:50Nikki this is a lot of good sense, and I really am grateful for all the help and advice you are giving me, I will have a chat with the vets in the morning and then I will message you. I have always had good horse advice from you xxxTues 22:57This is what my friend Mike said, (his ex used to teach me and they used to work with problem horses and train horses) Just because the mare is unfit should not have a negative impact on the 5 star vetting, you are establishing a comprehensive health assessment of the horse to suit your personal requirements. You are doing the right thing, especially with bloods for strangles, you want peace of mind and a 5 star will give you that. It does not need to be a full on competition horse to have a full vetting, trust your instincts you are taking the right precautions!!Wed 16:17this is what the vets told me From: Info [mailto***@******.***]
Sent: 26 April 2016 09:17
To: ***** *****
Subject: 5 Stage Vetting Guidelines
Dear Rosemary
Please find attached vetting guidelines and the disclaimer form that I mentioned which would need to be signed if a client decided on a 2 stage vetting.
If you have any further questions please give th This is what the vets e-mailed me when I rang them the following morning to ask their advice about the vetting
Sent: 26 April 2016 09:17
To: ***** *****
Subject: 5 Stage Vetting Guidelines
Dear Rosemary
Please find attached vetting guidelines and the disclaimer form that I mentioned which would need to be signed if a client decided on a 2 stage vetting.
If you have any further questions please give the office a call.10:22well she is now threatening me because I stopped the deposit chequeOMG REALLY!!!!
Never mind she can't do anything about it lol
I don't blame you having a rest buying horses seems to be a minefield!!!!Chat conversation endSent from MessengerType a message...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The thread above is the messages I have had from two horse owner one who went to try the horse for me
Hi, Thank you. As long as (a) she did not specifically state the deposit was non refundable and (b) you made it clear the purchase was subject to vetting, then her claim is unlikely to succeed. The only issue is (rightly or wrongly) if she wants to make a court claim that is her prerogative. Has she said she will sue you within 7 days if the money is not paid?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has said she will give me until tomorrow to give her the deposit back or she will find out where I work and send me a court letter on the receipt she gave me she has written 'received with thanks £350 cheque deposit for Indian Dreams 14.3hh/15hh mare balance of 3150 to be paid on or before collection' and then she signed it I did not sign anything.
Hi, Thank you. I would write back to her and say it is a criminal to pursue someone for money in this manner under S.40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 (demanding money from someone at their place of work is especially serious). Say if she goes through with this threat you will reserve the right to a) report her to the police and/or b) Trading Standards. I would say to her the purchase was always conditional and you were never informed that the deposit was non refundable. If she does sue you, you will have to either defend yourself or may be consider offering a lesser sum in order to settle the claim. Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your advice about this, I will wait to see what her response is.
Thank you. I am happy to assist with any follow up points. I would be most grateful if you would rate my answer in the mean time? Kind regards AJ
Alex J. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you I will do this, this whole horse purchase experience has been horrible and has put me off considering it again. I will be in touch again if I would like some further advice
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have been thinking about this whole matter all weekend and am really stressed out about it so I would like to send this woman the £350 she is demanding from me, she probably does not have a case but I don't want this hanging over my head. Can you tell me the safest way for me to communicate with her and send her the money and what sort of letter I should write her. I would be sending her a replacement cheque for the one I first gave her. I also want to ensure that she does not hassle me any more or demand any more money from me she has asked (with some threats) that I replace the deposit I originally gave her.
Text communications from Ms W BeerFrom WB Thursday 28 April 2016 @10.00 am:
“I will be pursuing you for the deposit of indie that you have stopped. You pulled out of the sale after paying a deposit. I at no stage refused you a 5 stage vetting. And after 3 weeks if time wasting I will not let this drop.”
Me 28 April 2016 @ 10.03 am:
“but you told me she would not pass a 5 stage vetting I did not wis to waste money on a 5 stage she would not pass. Also you told me when I messaged you to say that I would not go ahead, that you had sold her to a nice home despite taking a deposit from me.”
WB 28 Apirl 2016 @ 10.08 am:
“I told you I didn’t think she was fit enough for a 5 stage vetting. But after speaking to my vets they assured me the advice given to you would have been we will take her fitness into account. And again at no point did I tell you I had sold indie. I think you’ll find I said u have FOUND her a home. No money had exchanged hands before your rude text message. I just had someone serious lined up. Not someone despite my husbands accident continued to waste my time and emotions. As I say you owe me the deposit.Me Thursday 28April 2016 @10.15
I am glad you found her a home I have the e-mail from the vets telling me I would need to sign a disclaimer if she only would have been able to have a 2 stage vetting. Also have your other texts regarding indie I only asked last Sunday if she was still for sale after the problems I had been having trying to find somewhere for her. I am sorry you felt I was rude as I did not intend to be.WB Thursday 28 April 2016 @ 10.19
“That’s neither here nor there. I didn’t refuse you a vetting and you pulled out. You owe me £350 deposit I’m not tit for tatting and I will find out where you live/work and be sending you a court letter. Unless you do the right thing.Me Thursday 28 April 2016 @10.27“What do you mean by the right thing? You asked me what vetting I had booked I told you and you then told me – I wouldn’t think she was fit enough for a 5 stage. I appreciate you let me see her twice but if she wasn’t going to pass the vetting then I could not proceed.”WB Thursday 28 April 2016 @10.30
“I didn’t say she wouldn’t pass in fact I’m sure she would but I thought it was excessive for a family horse. That had only been hacked twice a week all winter. 3 times including Nikki”
WB Thursday 28 April [email protected] 10.32
You owe me the deposit end of I won’t reply any more. I will give you till tomorrow morning to re pay the deposit or take it further”Me 28 April 2016 @ 10.32
I have no experience in buying a horse and took the advice I was given which was to have a 5 stage vetting
Me Thursday 28 April @ 11.48
“I have taken legal advice about your communication to me and shown the solicitor your texts... it is criminal to pursue someone for money in this manner under S40 of the Administration of Justice Act (demanding money at their place of work is particularly serious) the purchase was conditional and I was not informed that the deposit was non-refundable I do not have a contract of sale. I reserve the right to report this”WB Thursday 28 April @ 19.52
“Lol seriously you are a habitual timewaster. What horse do you want wade to back? It’s a small horsey world rosemary and I’ll make sure you do not do this to anyone else Wade us very displeased to say the least. Also I will not be turning up at your work placement to demand money. I will be turning up to serve you a court summons for money owning. Stopping a cheque that you have given with no intention of clearing is also an offence. “Please advice as this is stressing me out I do not think I have done anything illegal but I would like to end this matter and basically pay her to stop her hassling me.
Hi, Thank you. Has she been chasing you further over the weekend? If so can you tell me what she has said? Just to put your mind at ease, you are not doing anything illegal (as in criminal) this is a civil matter and purely a dispute over money.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much, no she has not been in touch since her last rant, so I guess I will just steer clear, it is horrible but I guess it will all pass, I did think of just offering to pay her to get this over and done with, I know next time I look at a horse I will ask for a written contract so that I know what I am letting myself in for. This was all so vague, and is a mess, but hopefully she will decide it is not something she wishes to take further but as long as I am doing nothing criminal I feel much less stressed. I have never had a dispute of this type before. Thank you so much for all your time and advice.