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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4897
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I am in the process of buying a residential property through

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I am in the process of buying a residential property through a local estate agency. They advised that they were selling on behalf of a company and I went ahead and made an offer to purchase based on a viewing of the property. I have now found out through my conveyancing solicitor that the company selling is an equity release company. This means I must agree to buy the property 'sold as seen' and I won't have any certificates/guarantees of works or repairs carried out. Had I known the situation I would have made a lower offer (I am also a cash buyer). I have not yet signed the contract but am advise that completion must be on July 3rd 2019 - not much breathing space. The estate agent also arranged a survey to be carried out by a third party - the survey was carried out on 14th June (not 7th as I was advised) and I still haven't received it so am not willing to sign the contract. This is a side issue however, my initial question is should the estate agent have advised me to the equity release situation?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No steps so far - I am considering making a lower offer on the property, depending on the surveyors report
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: Wirral. CH63
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No, thank you

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you today.

Yes, the agency should have been more transparent with you and given you details of the equity release company.

It is a factor which would influence a buyer's decision in terms of how much to offer and the fact that naturally had that information been known at the time, you would have offered less - so they would likely be found guilty of misrepresentation here. If it all falls through and you are out of pocket, I would recommend that you send the agency a letter before action to demand payment within 14 days and say that if they do not pay you, you will issue county court proceedings against them. See attached template as an example of what to say.

You would then need to register at http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk so that you are ready to issue the claim in the event they dispute the claim and do not pay you. The website is very user-friendly and you would not need a lawyer to use the money claim site. Claims with a value of under £10,000 are classed as a "small claim", so legal costs are not recoverable and the matter may be dealt with on paper by a Judge, not at a hearing. A hearing may be necessary if the court thinks that oral evidence is required to dispose of the case.

Claims between £10,000 and £25,000 are subject to fixed costs only so if you lose then the risk is minimal. Further, the money claim website allows you to sue for an amount up to £100,000. If you claim more than £100,000 then you would need to use the paper claim form (let me know as I have a copy).

You would claim the sum for the loss, the court issue fee (details of fees are here at page 5: http://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/court-fees) and court interest which is 8% calculated on a daily rate from the date of loss to date of court judgment. The site allows you to calculate the interest and add it to the claim.

If you win then once you have the CCJ from the court the defendant has 14 days to pay in full. If they do not then it gets registered with the credit agencies after 30 days. You can also enforce the CCJ with the county court bailiffs or transfer the debt to the High Court for a small additional fee assuming the total amount owed is at least £600 and you can use the high court enforcement officers who have greater powers than county court bailiffs. The transfer fee is added on to the debt and payable by the defendant.

There are other enforcement methods which I can help with, including bank account freeze, charging order on their property, summons to court for questioning, etc.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button on your screen to do this), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Kind regards,

Jim

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