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What constitutes "Harrasment"?.


vanboy
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A friend of mine sold his own vehicle he'd owned for 18 months privately,subsequently the buyer has since found (apparently!) some things are wrong with it and wants recompence.He has sent my mate several letters,each of which has been replied to,and the buyer is threatening to take him to Small Claims court etc.The buyer just won't accept the fact that he inspected the vehicle,it was a private sale with no guarantee whatsover,the offer was made to him initially after the first complaint,to bring it back so my mate could try and rectify what was originally the problem.The buyer has sent 3 letters already threatening Court action,can he send the buyer a letter stating his position,i.e "sold as seen and tested" and threaten a counter suit for Harrasment?.

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As for harassment - it would really have to be over the top or lead to a physical assault before the police would take an interest, up until then it would be a 'civil' matter.

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You don't have anything to worry about vanboy unless you misdescribed the car ie only one owner when there has been more or has a new engine when it does not etc; or it is in a dangerous condition.

Saying it has an RDS radio or cd changer, when it has, but the radio or cd doesn't work is not a misdescription.

 

It is indeed as demon says "caveat emptor".

 

I would stop answering any further attempts to intimidate you, and don't offer to do a repair, your not a dealer and have no responsibility to the car or new owner to do so, also, it could backfire and you end up paying out.

 

As buzby says, it has not reached harassment yet, but report it to the police if you get any threats of violence.

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I agree with Conniff, you should be fine and you're not a dealer so don't have to be responsible if there's things wrong afterwards. Afterall, the buyer could've gone to a dealer for a car, which is why it's more expensive isn't it? Or he could've paid AA/RAC etc to come out and insepect it if he wanted too.

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The courts also take a view on what harrassment means depending on the context of the complaint and legislation. I don't think there has been any interpretation which meets what you are posting about.

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OK,thanks for your replys folks,it was just a thought really,my mate is pretty worried about the court thing,but as has been said "Caveat Emptor" seems to be the answer here.Thanks again.

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Yes and no... If the car was sold as beign roadworthy and it wasn't, then your mate would be in trouble.

 

The fact that he did offer to sort out whatever was wrong and the buyer refused, instead choosing to send out letters threatening legal action and what not, should weigh in his favour if it were to go to court, however. Hopefully, it won't come to that and the guy will give up.

 

Let us know if he doesn't. :-)

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In private sales, caveat emptor (buyer beware) applies. Unless your friend was specifically misleading in describing the condition of the car, the buyer has no recourse.

 

Even if a private buyer is able to demonstrate misleading descriptions of a vehicle, as I did and the judge acknowledged it too, even to the point where the vehicle was described as 'immaculate' but was actually unroadworthy, there is still no recourse with a private sale.

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But you said yourself in an other thread that your judge said that in 99% of cases, she would have ruled differently, so you can't use your specific example as the benchmark for all cases. As I said in that other thread, the fact that one county court judge decided against you is no indication whatsoever that another one would do the same.

 

In the same way that you were unfortunate to get that one judge who took "caveat emptor" to the limit of absurdity, there is absolutely no guarantee that you couldn't get a judge who would completely side with the buyer in the above situation if he chose to believe the other side.

 

The fact that it is a private seller reduces the amount of statutory protection to the buyer, but does not remove it completely. In the circumstances as described above (and we do not have the complete picture here, far from it), I think that the apparent good faith of the seller who offered to fix whatever problem there was and was faced with the bullishness and refusal to cooperate from the buyer would be the most convincing element in front of a reasonably impartial judge.

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Yes, I absolutely agree with you bookworm.

 

All I wish to say is that I have had one experience in my life of this type of circumstance so it is only the one opinion I can honestly give with experience.

 

However, I would point out that my evidence was hugely weighted against the other party but I still lost.

 

Yet I am completely unaware of anybody who has had a successful action as a buyer in a private vehicle sale anyway.

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