I’m afraid that this is not a chat service, it’s an email reply board and therefore there may be a delay getting back to you but all the experts are online and off-line every day most days in between clients and travelling and other users.
Are you prepared to walk away from the down payment or would you like that back. I appreciate the would prefer to have it back but would you be happy to just leave it?
A verbal contract is just as binding as a written contract provided there is no dispute over the terms and here, there are no terms.
It does appear that the owner has misrepresented but once again there is nothing in writing.
However, for you to occupy the premises (as opposed to the business) than under the Law of Property Act 1925, the agreement does have to be writing and signed by you and the landlord and therefore the somewhat bizarre legal situation is that there is no enforceable agreement for you to take over the building but there is potentially a verbal agreement for you to take over the business which you obviously can’t do without the building.
Whether there are any legal consequences or not would really come down to the view that the landlord takes and whether he is happy to take the six-month money and let you walk or whether he wants to stick to his guns which you view what you said is probably going to be somewhat remiss of him.
If you can let me see your letter, I can tell you whether it is firm enough.
Can I clarifying anything else for you?
I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.
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If you still need any point clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.