HelloWe purchased a house 2 months ago in a private sale. The fixtures and fittings form stated that the curtain poles,curtains,light fittings, washing machine, and mirror were not included in the sale. The vendor offered to sell them to me privately for £1500. Although we didnt get a proper chance to look at them throughly we agreed to the purchase in text message ( i.e not through a solicitor)The vendor agreed that we would not have to make the payment until mid July (We moved on the 1st June).Since we moved in, we have discovered that all the curtains are from Dun Elm Mill - and in my opinion not worth £1500.We paid the vendor £400 on the 18th July. Our circumstances have changed ( car broken down) and we cannot afford to pay the full £1500 ( I do not think the items are worth £1500 either). I have offered to return £1100 worth of the items - or pay for around £1000 worth of items, or re- negotiate the price. The vendor has said she will not take the goods back and is demanding the money by the 3rd August or she will take me to a small claims court. Can she do this?
System of Law: England-and-Wales
Communicating with vendor
Hi, Was the sum to be paid for the items noted in the sale contract for the transaction? Ie. the one that you signed..Kind regards,Tom
No, it was not. It was purely a text conversation, possibly an email also between myself and the vendor.
HiThanks for your reply. If she has got documentary proof that you intended to purchase the goods for a fixed price then she will be able to sue you for the balance of the purchase price I’m afraid. Usually such items are included in the sale contract simply because it avoids uncertainty but if there is documentary evidence that they have then this gets around this issue. I’m afraid that the actual value of the goods is also not now something that you can insist is negotiated on if the Seller is not minded to negotiate. Regrettably, it was for you to make appropriate investigations to ensure that the sum you eventually agreed to pay was commensurate to the value of the items that you were to receive. You may consider that you did not have adequate time to inspect the items but if this was the case the best way forward would have to said that you would only agree to purchase them if you were afforded a further opportunity to examine the items. This being a private sale between two private indivduals you cannot avail yourself of the sale of goods act in order to enforce a “satisfactory quality” standard as against the price because this only applies where goods are sold in the course of a person’s business. I am very sorry I could not have better news for you, but it’s best that you know your position because if you attempt to litigate on this then it could cost you more money on legal fees, costs and interest. Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE or above if you are satisfied that you have received the correct legal advice (even if it is not the answer you wanted to hear), otherwise I do not receive any credit for answering your question. If you are not willing to rate my answer as OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE then allow me to assist further by replying asking what clarification you require rather than rating my answer at levels below.If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”. Kind regards,Tom
BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Is a text message considered documentary evidence? I am not intending to sue her, but am intending to let her take us to a small claims court as we do not currently have the money to pay.
Hi, Yes, texts would substantially help her claim because this is documentary evidence which corroborates her particulars of claim. I would attempt to state that you have reconsidered and now accept liability but that due to unforseen circumsta nces are not in a position to pay. State when you anticipate that you will be and say that it would be sensible not to burden the courts with this unless you renege on the time at which you are now able to pay. This will get you a bit of favour with the, not enouhg so that you are not liable but it all helps. Please remember to rate my answer. Kind regards,Tom
I have rated your answer. Can I offer to return all the items? Is that not sufficient?
Hi, Thanks for rating. No, you had a contract to purchase them. Only if you agreed that you would be able to return them would you actually be able to do so. Kind regards,Tom
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