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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22884
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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Please. im in west auckland, no, its a query relating to

Customer Question

JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: im in west auckland
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: its a query relating to consumer law, i made a deposit of funds via trade me for a vehicle purchase and could not follow through with the inspection where we would do the trade. the seller told me today that i have also lost the deposit due to their prep of the vehicle, which i had NOT SIGHTED nor signed paperwork for!
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 7 months ago.

If you have a contract for the purchase of a car, have paid a deposit and this is conditional upon an inspection, then this is a binding contract. I was not sure from your question whether the seller has cancelled the contract, and why you were not able to inspect. More detail on that would help me answer this better

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I wasnt able to inspect as the vehicle is in Waiheke and Im in Auckland and for them to bring it over to Auckland they needed to know I was serious which for them meant a 1000 deposit.So we arranged for an inspection on Sunday. Late Saturday I had to notify them of a family emergency which meant I have to travel so cancelled the purchase inspection. However the funds had not been returned so I asked them to expedite but they say todaythere is no refund as they had to prep the vehicle. Thats news to me.....all I wanted to do was inspect and sort the VTNZ ppa check so finalise the price for leeway.Can I lose 1000 that easily without even seeing the goods????
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 7 months ago.

It appears that they decided to cancel the contract rather than you. The law about cancellation of the contract is contained in the Contractual Remedies Act. You can cancel the contract where there has been a breach of the term, but only if this is a substantial breach. When the contract is cancelled there is an entitlement for damages, but that is only the actual costs. I was not sure if you cancelled the contract or just the inspection?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
well the contract really, as the money was the help me pay for funeral expenses for a close friend who was like a brother to me. now that i have lost the deposit i cant attend the funeral....if i pay the expenses from here, i cant get the car and close the deal. it sucks.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 7 months ago.

If you cancelled the contract, which was only subject to an inspection, but chose not to complete the inspection, then the seller is entitled to damages. In terms of getting your money back, you would need to require them to prove their actual expenses rather than just taking the whole of the deposit. But to do this you would probably need to go to the disputes Tribunal, and that won't get you your money in time for the funeral. I suggest that you talk to them again and explain that circumstances were against you, and that you needed the money for the funeral. Explain that your advice on the law is that they can only keep their actual costs and that you would prefer to see justification of those costs before you decide your next steps

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