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DaveDavis

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  1. Emailed estate agents today asking for survey cost to be reimbursed. Senior bod called me this afternoon jist was 'very sorry, yes we got this wrong, your surveyor is right, we will reimburse you in full'. Fair enough.
  2. Thanks again. I will do some more homework on negligent mis-statement
  3. Thank you Steampowered. The relevant wording of the particulars in full was "a most spacious five bedroom detached family home with approximately 3,000 sq ft of living accommodation". Survey measured internal floor area. Taking into account fact particulars specifically referenced living accommodation I think these are essentially measures of the same area and I believe there was a clear and material misrepresentation. This is supported by the comments of the other agents I have mentioned this to, also by the fact they have re-marketed the property with the same particulars but deleting the words "with approximately 3,000 sq ft of living accommodation". I agree if I had proceeded to purchase it might be difficult to argue that relying on the particulars alone was reasonable. But surely it is reasonable to rely on particulars for purpose of making a subject to contract offer and dismissing other properties and incurring limited legal costs and incurring survey costs. We have now gone back to the vendor of another property we had previously been in negotiations with and that vendor now wants more money. So there are various costs and losses that have flown from this misrepresentation - the size of the property was an important consideration when making our decision on which of two properties to pursue at the time we were negotiating and deciding between them. I will have to decide what to do but I think a without prejudice letter to registered office setting out my complaint and my losses is probably the right way to go. See what the response is then consider a small claims court action. I think small claims court may well be sympathetic - I think what we did was perfectly reasonable, there is a blatant misrep and clear losses as a result of it. Would they imply a duty of care? Don't know but taking into all the circumstances I think they may well find a way to do so.
  4. On who to sue yes that is an issue, but I think there could be a valid claim against the agents. In Hedley Byrne v Hellor the court said: Lord Morris of Borth-y-Gest said: ‘it should now be regarded as settled that if someone possessed of a special skill undertakes, quite irrespective of contract, to apply that skill for the assistance of another person who relies upon such skill, a duty of care will arise. The fact that the service is to be given by means of or by the instrumentality of words can make no difference. Furthermore, if in a sphere in which a person is so placed that they could reasonably rely upon his judgment or his skill or upon his ability to make careful inquiry, a person takes it upon himself to give information or advice to, or allows his information or advice to be passed on to, another person who, as he knows or should know, will place reliance upon it, then a duty of care will arise.’ An claim against an estate agent McCullagh v Lane Fox & Partners based on this precedent failed because there was a relevant exclusion clause. In the particulars I read there is not any.
  5. As it is not a technical term I think the test is what the man on the Clapham omnibus would interp it to mean and that certainly would not include a real value of 2085 within "approximately 3000". Or on the Officious Bystander test - there is no way you could imply that Approximately 3,000 included 2,085. If an Officious Bystander said that Approximately 3,000 included 2,085 no one would say "But of course it means that". If when you said Approximately 3,000 you wanted it to include 2,085 you would have to say that expressly. Or consider standard industry practice. If you were to ask an estate agent would you interpret Approximately 3,000 sq ft to possibly mean 2,085 they would almost all say of course not (I have discussed this with the agents I am selling my house through they said the misleading particulars were "unforgivable" and others I have shown the particulars to shook their head in disbelief).
  6. Please see comments above. I took the particulars at face value, understanding that in estate agent speak approximately 3,000 sq ft would mean less than but not too much less than 3,000 sq ft. The statement in the particulars is a direct misrepresentation and was important when I was considering the relative merits of different properties. There is no disclaimer in relation to this. So I am thinking I could well have a claim in misrep.
  7. By the way, on the misrep issue, I have checked the PDF download of the particulars. There is no general disclaimer. There is a section called "Agents Notes" which has some comments on "Fixtures & Fittings" and "Services Connected" and then says "All Measurements: All Measurements are Approximate". So I am thinking that the misrep claim might not be so difficult.
  8. I suspected the real number was lower, obviously estate agent speak "approximately 3,000 sq ft" means it is going to be less in reality, and would not have been too concerned if it was say 100-200 sq ft lower. But was very surprised by the massive discrepancy. And yes not noticed - it is difficult to assess in your head the area of the internal rooms in a good sized house, and I had no reason not to believe "approximately 3,000 sq ft" meant "approximately 3,000 sq ft". Dont understand your comments "agreed to pay deposit on viewed property" and "Signed paperwork on deposit!". Have not signed anything and not paid any deposit. It is wasted survey costs I am concerned about. Does anyone know if consumers can bring actions re breach of Consumer Protection Regs, or is it only Trading Standards that can do that? Does seem to be a clear breach of the regs. I found this comment elsewhere: What these regulations prohibit are “misleading actions” and “misleading omissions” that lead to the average consumer making a decision – which includes the decision to view a property – that they would not otherwise have done. How “misleading action” is defined is very detailed but in essence it means something that contains false information or which, overall, deceives a consumer
  9. I can see that making a misrep case could be difficult, but there are cases that indicate it is possible, see eg McCullagh v Lane Fox & Partners But what about the breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regs. Lets assume there has been a breach. Does a consumer have a remedy or is it only Trading Standards who can enforce those regs?
  10. Yes but does that small print get them off the hook? I thought the purpose of the Consumer Protection regulations was to nullify certain get out clauses?
  11. Hi My wife and I recently made, and had accepted, an offer to buy a property. The first line of the particulars said "A most spacious five bedroom detached family home with approximately 3,000 sq ft of living accommodation..." There was a plan of the property later in the particulars but no dimensions on it. There were dimensions on a room by room basis included as part of the description of individual rooms. I had a full survey done. That states "The overall internal floor area extends to around 2085 sq ft". We have withdrawn from the sale principally because the property is a lot smaller than we thought. At a minimum I would like to recover my lost survey fee. The selling agents are members of the Property Ombudsman Scheme. Worth going to them? Or straight to small claims court? I have some experience of the small claims court and am comfortable bringing claim on my own, and I am thinking probably is worth going straight to court. What is basis of the claim? This looks like a clear breach of Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations but can I claim my losses under those regs or is it best to go under general law of misrepresentation? On this - I was induced to enter into a contract with the surveyor by the misleading particulars - is that what I need to establish to succeed ? Put another way does it matter that I did not have any contract with the estate agents themselves? Any thoughts gratefully received. Many thanks
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