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Property Misdescriptions Act - Estate Agent Refusing Liability

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  • Property Misdescriptions Act - Estate Agent Refusing Liability

    Hi all,

    I recently had an offer accepted on a property and as the house was a reposession, the estate agent advised that I only had 21 days to complete and I should immediately contact the bank to arrange my mortgage, pay for a survey and advise my solicitor.

    Upon receiving and inspecting the documents my solicitor immediately noticed that the garage which was clearly advertised by the estate agent in photo and writing was not part of the properties deeds and was owned by another party.

    Due to the fact that the garage was a large part of the property and had a door into the kitchen of the house my solicitor advised me to withdraw the offer unless the vendor rectified the problem with the deeds or they agreed to a substantial discount on the property.

    As neither option was accepted I withdrew my offer having already spent the best part of £1000 and as a first time buyer thats almost 10% of my deposit down the drain!

    I have been advised by Trading Standards that this falls foul of the Property Misdescriptions Act but after sending numerous letters to my estate agents to claim back my costs they refuse to accept liability stating that it is the vendor's problem as they provided the details.

    This was a problem immediately identified by my solicitor so I think that the estate agent should have checked the papers in the HIPS pack and identified the problem and is therefore liable.

    Can anyone advise whether I have a case.
    Do I stand a chance of claiming back my costs through the small claims court as Im not sure what else to do.

  • #2
    Re: Property Misdescriptions Act - Estate Agent Refusing Liability

    Do an internet search for the Property Ombudsman - can help with disputes with estate agents.

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    • #3
      Re: Property Misdescriptions Act - Estate Agent Refusing Liability

      Sounds to me like the agent is trying to shake off their responsibility. Check who they are registered with i.e. RICS, Property Ombudsman so you know who to complain to. Also ensure that you ask them to outline their complaints procedure.

      If the agent can show that they have procedures in place regarding Misdescriptions Act and that the client has reviewed the brochure content and signed it off to include the garage then the agent probably feels harshly judged as they have tried to do the right thing, if they have been blatently negligent then that is something else.
      George F White
      Chartered Surveyors with offices across Northumberland, County Durham and Yorkshire
      http://www.georgefwhite.co.uk

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Property Misdescriptions Act - Estate Agent Refusing Liability

        Originally posted by GeorgeFWhite View Post
        Sounds to me like the agent is trying to shake off their responsibility. Check who they are registered with i.e. RICS, Property Ombudsman so you know who to complain to. Also ensure that you ask them to outline their complaints procedure.

        If the agent can show that they have procedures in place regarding Misdescriptions Act and that the client has reviewed the brochure content and signed it off to include the garage then the agent probably feels harshly judged as they have tried to do the right thing, if they have been blatently negligent then that is something else.
        Under the Act, even if the agent has taken measures, including getting the details signed off and putting a disclaimer on the brochure, they are still ultimately responsible.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Property Misdescriptions Act - Estate Agent Refusing Liability

          I think he is trying to have higher commission by complicate the deal.
          Find Rental Property

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          • #6
            Re: Property Misdescriptions Act - Estate Agent Refusing Liability

            If the agent has asked the right questions and shown a written record and that all efforts have been made then they may be clear. PMA can also apply to solicitors preparing content for the agents, and as such the sellers solicitor may be acting as an agent on behalf of the repossession company and alike liable. The ombudsman will look fully into the case, as in the senders notes is too little information to judge rights and wrongs.

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