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Estate agency stole HIPS money & went bust

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  • Estate agency stole HIPS money & went bust

    Hi,

    We went with a local estate agent to sell our house. The estate agents were run by 2 partners. They came around to value the house, and we paid £430 in cash for them to do the HIPS.

    About 6 weeks later we accepted an offer on the house.

    About 3 weeks after this, our buyers posted a note through our door, saying that our estate agents had not been in contact, and the office was shut, with mail piled up against the door.

    2 Days later, the police called us, stating that one of the partners never paid the HIPS company and had pocketed our cash. The other partner had reported it to the police. This meant we had no HI Pack !

    We managed to track down the other partner, who said he had now merged with another local agent, and not to worry.

    However, we have had no information from these new agents, have signed no contract with them, have had nothing in writing. Have not agreed he could pass on our details etc....

    We have had to fork out another £400 for a HI pack, and this new agency has not contacted our buyers. We are having to do it all ourselves.

    My question is, this new agency (the old agency partner) I presume will expect to be paid on completion.

    Bearing in mind :

    1. It has now cost us double for a HI pack, One of which we never received.
    2. We have no agreement with this new agency, and did not agree our details could be past over.
    3. The old partner says they have merged, but if his old business went bust, this surely is not a merger? We could be contacted by liquidators as far as I know, as creditors for his old company.
    4. We could sue for breach of contract, stress, not receiving a service as expected etc…

    Would you pay, and where would I stand legally ?

  • #2
    Hi Jat,

    I feel so bad for you! You have had such a bad experience!

    I am gonna put my estate agent hat on for you. (As I also work for a mortgage company to)

    Firstly -

    You original contract...do you have it? If so, what company name is it in? Alot of agency agreements will have the name of the company on the header but in the small print will normally trade as a Lmt company.

    Is this Limited company still in existents? and trading?

    Did this company introduce the buyer? put the offer forward? and send mail to both sides solicitors?

    Have you signed a contract with any other firm?

    What is happening with the purchaser now?
    Becky

    www.fruitmortgages.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Becky, Thanks for your time. To answer your questions :

      You original contract...do you have it? If so, what company name is it in?
      It was a LTD company. I am sure I have the contract somewhere, but it's packed away in boxes !

      Is this Limited company still in existents? and trading?
      As far as I know, no. There were 2 partners, one of which stole the money, the other who has now "Merged" with another existing local estate agent. I have no idea whether the LTD company went bust, or genuinely did merge before they went under. I have had nothing in writing informing me.

      Did this company introduce the buyer? put the offer forward? and send mail to both sides solicitors?
      The original company did all of the above, before going bust / merging. That is the point where we lost all contact with them.
      The new company have done nothing, except for sending confirmation to our buyer’s agents, that we have buyers for our property. I have still had no contact with the new company, and certainly nothing in writing.

      Have you signed a contract with any other firm?
      No.

      What is happening with the purchaser now?
      Because we have kept in contact with them ourselves, everything is still going ahead, although there has been a large delay as we have had to sort out getting another HIP done. Our buyers were not impressed with the delay, but understood we were stolen from and had to re-pay for another pack.

      I have been informed by a solicitor that I can sue for various things, such as added stress caused, breach of contract (due to theft) etc…
      However, I was not going to take this approach, presuming I would not have to pay the agents fee on completion.

      Comment


      • #4
        Basically, You need to find out what has happened to the limited company.

        If the limited company has gone bust, then the only person that would have a claim on the agent fee would be the creditor. Now the company doesn't sound very good so it would be unlikely your records would be there for them to chase. The solicitor however would have a legal obligation to advice the company?? of the sale completing...but if there is no company who would they advise?.

        If the limited company has merged or been bought out by another limited company then this is your problem. The company name on your contract if still in action could have a claim against the fee. You can ague with them for not following through the sale but your contract would state they are paid for introducing the buyer.

        I do hope that they have no claim on you!! And the actual saving of the selling fee would re inverse you for the X hips payment.

        I hope this was of help for you.

        Becky

        www.fruitmortgages.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Becky. Thats kind of what I thought.

          When they contact me for payment, I will find out if they were bought / merged. if so, then they are still liable for the actions the company have made previously. Therefore, I could sue them, or offset my extra costs against whats owed.

          If they did go bust, I will not be paying a penny, unless it's a creditor (of which I am one, since they stole money from mem which again would need offsetting).

          Comment


          • #6
            No problem.

            I hope everything works out for you.
            Becky

            www.fruitmortgages.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Indeed, and if the company is still active you could look to file a claim in the small claims courts - that should be reasonably quick. Or else you could simply contact Trading Standards and see if they can chase this up on your behalf.

              Comment

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