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property moving nightmare on completion day Claim Issued ***Judgment***


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My family recently moved into a new house, it was made a lot more stressful that it should have been. 

 

We paid for a professional moving company, spent days packing and moved out of our property well in advance of 1pm and handed over the key to the estate agent. Our sellers were not as organised and when we arrived at our new home just before 2pm they were literally throwing drawers full of clothes into the back of their car and the house was full of furniture.

 

The moving company waited until 5pm and then took video evidence and went home, this was on Friday and they were unable to bring our stuff back until Monday. We were unable to find a hotel as we live in the midlands and everything is booked out for the commonwealth. The sellers managed to move their stuff into the garage before dark and cleared the garage over the weekend, we were literally living like squatters in our own house for the weekend. 

 

Due to the sellers not vacating on time, we incurred out of pocket expenses due to wasted food that couldn't be frozen/refrigerated, additional moving costs of almost £2000 and other out of pocket expenses. 

 

Via solicitor and estate agents, we have been told in no uncertain terms that the sellers do not care and will not contribute to the costs.

 

We are aware of their new address, thanks to neighbours and believe that the best course of action is a letter of preaction, followed by an application to the small claims court.

 

I just wanted to ask if there is any advice please?

PS I am a long time (10 to 15 years) lurker and have never been in a situation that I wasnt able to search for on here before, but I have always clicked on adverts to help out the site. 

 

 

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to be honest i dont really think there is alot you can really do.

it's very nice to have these ideas, but it could be a very lengthy hard fight to prove you losses.....

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Welcome to the forum.

 

Have you reported the above to your conveyance Solicitor ?

 

Andy

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24 minutes ago, Andyorch said:

Have you reported the above to your conveyance Solicitor ?

Hello, yes. 

Our solicitor have advised us that it is a clear breach of contract.

 

Normally in these situations, solicitors act as the messenger post completion, but their solicitor have flatly refused.

 

We have been advised that the sellers are liable for the expenses plus a small amount of interest at 4% above base rate. 

 

We do have evidence we have which includes a time stamped video from the removal co, invoice clearly itemising the additional removal costs, apologetic text messages arranging for access to collect items from the property after the completion date. 

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Your solicitor who acted for you could continue to act on your behalf and deal with the sellers directly 

But be aware that there will probably be substantial costs involved

Dealing with the matter yourself will be time consuming and may not produce the results that you require 

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Any help I am able to give is from my own experience only. Should you have any doubt you should contact a qualified professional.

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Thanks for the feedback. My solicitor has advised me to speak to a litigation specialist or go to the small claims court as they only do conveyancing. 

 

Eyes open, I know it will take minimum of months to resolve, as Ive used MCOL before successfully. It will cost me £200 to lodge a claim and I know that nothing in life is guaranteed but I feel I have strong evidence including admission of fault and apology in sms message. 

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Yes the small claims court process is straightforward 

But proving and recovering losses is fraught with difficulties 

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Any help I am able to give is from my own experience only. Should you have any doubt you should contact a qualified professional.

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Well a letter before action wont cost anything and it will signify their attitude and whether they accept they they were at fault and cost you significant costs and loss subject to their response.

 

You have been advised its a clear breach of contract you have documented evidence of costs and admittance so proving loss shouldn't really be fraught nor with any difficulties. Appears to be cut and dry and given you have used MCOL previously you can do this all yourself without any legal assistance.

 

BTW stat interest is 8% pursuant to sec69 County Courts Act 1984 from when you suffered loss/costs up until date of judgment.

 

Make it clear in your LBC what is required to settle this and what the difference will be should it proceed to court IE Fees /Interest/costs.

 

Allow 14 days for a response.

 

Andy.

 

 

.

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  • 1 month later...

The sellers are now divorced and live separately. The ex-wife has responded to say that the issues we experienced were due to the actions of the ex-husband and she did not live at the property for some years. The husband has not responded.

 

I know that 2 respondents can make things more complex, has the wife given me the ammunition to pursue her ex husband?

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Who did you purchase the house from (who held the 'legal title') : husband, wife, or both as 'joint tenants'?

It is them who your contract was with, and them you should pursue.

 

If it was both as joint tenants, then you sue both (so as to be able to recover from either) - if you recover from one, even if they blame the other, up to them to sort it out between them, not your problem!.

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  • 3 months later...
On 06/10/2022 at 12:45, BazzaS said:

Who did you purchase the house from (who held the 'legal title') : husband, wife, or both as 'joint tenants'?

It is them who your contract was with, and them you should pursue.

 

If it was both as joint tenants, then you sue both (so as to be able to recover from either) - if you recover from one, even if they blame the other, up to them to sort it out between them, not your problem!.

 

Apologies BaazaS, Ive just logged on here to update the thread and didn't see your reply before now. I gave them another chance to pay and as I heard nothing I filed a claim as the end of last month.

 

The contract was with both husband and wife and I have filed the claim to both jointly as the contract of exchange clearly names both parties.

 

 

 

 

I have received a defence from the ex husband, which disputes the full amount claimed. He disputes some of our costs and then goes on to blame his exwife, aggress that she should pay the fess without interest and the reiterates that his ex-wife is "wholly responsible" and that there "cause of the issue was solely due to Mrs x not removing her goods from the house". 

 

 

I have until the 18th to complete a small claims questionnaire, Im tempted to wait a few days to see if the wife also responds but my simplistic view is that he has given has pretty much admitted fault.  

 

 

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Yup, he’s admitted THEY are at fault.

let’s see what she says.

If he’s blaming her (the divorce may not have been amicable??) perhaps he doesn’t realise he is making it harder for him to defend, too.

 

Not your problem though. They may have to sort it out between them if you succeed and get judgement against them both.

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I can see online the Mrs Defendant has filed an acknowledgment of service on the 9th, the request for my questionnaire has now gone.

 

I assume that I need to wait another 2 weeks to see what is filed and wait for a new small claims questionnaire deadline.  

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On 03/02/2023 at 16:56, BazzaS said:

If he’s blaming her (the divorce may not have been amicable??) perhaps he doesn’t realise he is making it harder for him to defend, too.

From what I understand it was the opposite of amicable and Mr Defendant forced the sale of the house through the courts.

 

It is quite sad it is this way as I understand they have 2 or 3 children but I suppose that's none of my business.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have received defence from both defendants, lots of strange comments, false mudslinging and bluster but it seems to me that both parties have admitted that the property wasn't vacated on time which in my understanding is a breach of contract. 

 


From Mr Defendant...

 

Quote

Background: property name was required to be sold following my divorce to Mrs Defendant as required by a Court Order. Previously I had been resident in China for 5 years and had not lived in the marital home since 2017. The completion and vacation date for property name was agreed between Mrs Defendant- and Mr and Mrs Claimants. I had already removed anything that was agreed I could have in the divorce.

lair: I dispute the total amount of £££ as unreasonable due to the following:-
1) As soon as I was aware of the claimants request I emailed them on the 23* Sept 2022 requesting a breakdown of their claim and receipts. This was provided promptly as below;
table of expenses

2) I then emailed the claimants on the 27th Sept 2022 requesting a face to face meeting to discuss their claim in order to try and resolve amicably without the need for litigation despite the fact, I believe the issue is solely due to the actions of Karen Horner.
3) I received no response to this request until the 12th Dec 2022 requesting full payment within
4 days or go to small claims court.
4) I was made aware by the claimants that Mrs Defendant was pursuing a different tact to this issue.

Vith regards to the total claim, I do believe that it is reasonable for the claimants to be compensated for the redelivery by Claimants removal co by Mrs Defendant . I feel that the rest is disproportionate and he associated interest charges which if the claimants had engaged with me earlier may have been avoided.

It is my view that Mrs Defendant is wholly responsible as I had already vacated the house and was residing in rental accommodation and so the cause of this issue was solely due to Mrs Defendant not removing her goods from the house. I had not had a set of keys to be able to access the house in over 4 years.

 


From Mrs Defendant...
 

Quote

1.I deny that the Claimant is entitled to the sum claimed inthe claim form, or to any sum.
2.The Claim form fails to specify the property concerned.
3.The Claimant purported to send a pre-action protocol letter tome dated 21st August 2022. I responded by letter dated 23rdSeptember 2022 pointing out that contrary to clause 6(a) of thePractice Direction - Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols, the Claimant had failed to provide precise details of the claim,together with documentation in support. Copies of these two
letters have been posted First Class to the County Court on, 20th February 2023.
4.I received no reply from the Claimant to this letter. Instead, he has issued a claim against me.
5.Without prejudice to my contention, that the claim is bad inlaw as it does not specify the property concerned. I accept that Iand my former husband entered into a legally binding contract of property to the Claimants on the 15th july 2022.
6.The Claimant’s letter of the 31st August 2022 wrongly statedthat we were in breach of contract due to failure to providevacant possession on, 20th july 2022. In fact, as the Claimant now admits in the claim form, the completion date wasextended by agreement to, 22nd july 2022.
7. This was pursuant to a special condition agreed incorrespondence between my solicitor at Star Legal and theClaimant’s solicitor under which I and myfamily were allowed to stay at the property until 22nd july 2022. The completion date remained as, 20th july 2022.
8.I had indicated in a text message in reply to the Claimants that I would aim to vacate the property by early afternoonon, 22nd july 2022.
9.Unfortunately and due to matters outside my control my removalcompany AnyVan (whom I had booked to attend at property at10:00 am on, 21st july 2022 to commence the removals) informed me that they had decided to prioritize another job beforeme and would not be arriving at 10:00 am as planned but later. They eventually arrived at 1500 hrs.
10.As I did not know when the removal company would be arriving Iwas unable to progress the removal of minor items in my car and tothe public refuse tip.
11.AnyVan eventually arrived at 1500 hrs but with a much smallervan than anticipated. They loaded the large items into the van butnot all the items due to be moved.
12.AnyVan left at around 1830 hrs on, 21st july 2022 informing me that they would attend “100%” to the rest of theitems on, 22nd july 2022, but that they had another job to do first thing.
13.I telephoned my solicitors at around 09:00 am on, 22nd july 2022 to advise of this. I asked them to inform the Claimant’s solicitors.
14.Matters were further complicated when I telephoned AnyVandriver on the morning of 22nd july 2022 for a progress report. I was informed that the van had broken down.
15.In the event, AnyVan failed to attend the property on, 22nd july 2022 at all.
16.I was advised by my conveyancing solicitor to move goods and chattel out of property and place them into the garage so as to free up rooms in the house for the Claimants goods and chattel. The property is a large three-storey house with two stair cases and four exits. It also has access to a rear garden via the first floor and via kitchen side door located on the ground floor. There is a side gate on the ground floor which also gives access to the rear garden.
17.The Claimants arrived shortly before 1300 hrs. However, when I put the above proposal to them, they refused, unreasonably in my opinion. They refused to work with me and to try to sort out the problem. Instead, they threatened to charge me 10% of the sale price of the property. My solicitor subsequently advised me that this threat was groundless in law.
18.The Claimant and his wife sat on the grass verge outside of property where their removal van was placed. They refused to engage with me at all. I continued to remove goods and chattel into the garage to allow them to move their goods and chattels into the House. Instead they insisted that they move their goods and chattels into the garage first. The Claimant’s conduct was unreasonable and did not assist in trying to seek a resolution to the problem.
19.I was advised by my solicitor that legal completion had taken place on 20th july 2022, although the balance of the purchase monies arrived after the contractual time of 1300hrs.
20.The Claimant left property at around 1530hrs on 22nd july 2022. I had already by that time given them a key for the property but they still refused to move in, despite a number of rooms being available for the furniture. They also indicated that if I needed to contact them that I could locate them at their previous house.
21.The Claimant has also failed to particularize the sum of £££ mentioned in the claim and I have no idea as to how this is made up or what he is claiming for.
22.In summary and for the above reasons I reject the Claimants claim in full.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have received a copy of the DQ from 1 of the defendants today, it seems they waited until 2 mins to 4 on the last day to submit.

 

Mrs Defendant seems to be clinging onto my pre action letter not being detailed enough in how I calculated the expenses and seems to hope that the whole thing will be thrown out soon a technicality.  

 

In reply to my pre action letter, Mrs Defendant "refused the claim", a few weeks later Mr Defendant asked for a more detailed breakdown and this was provided along with receipts. 

 

They do seem determined to drag this out as long as possible which is the opposite of what I would do given the interest is accumulating on a daily basis. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS. This site really is fascinating, I do wish I had the knowledge to help others too. I will make a small donation at some point as I have spent some time on here. 

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Irrelevant what they write on their DQ its purely for allocation not a tool to add further defence....the court will disregard.

 

 

 

.

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  • 1 month later...

Short update, it has now been transfer to the court nearest to my home.

 

 

I not that the offices are many weeks behind in processing inbound correspondence, assume similar backlogs in the local courts and as such I do not expect a date anytime soon. 

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Post back when you receive your Notice of Allocation N157 its important you comply with the courts directions and on time.

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  • 1 month later...

I've just received the N157 allocation and have been notified that the trial is scheduled for the 1st of August. It's somewhat surprising to me that a trial is necessary considering both parties have made admissions.

I'm required to complete a payment of £346 in the early part of August. Additionally, I need to provide a statement along with relevant evidence by the 7th of July.

It's been suggested that both parties should attempt to resolve the matter through negotiation, so perhaps I should kickstart this process now.

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If you opted for mediation (ADR) on your DQ the courts mediation service will contact you and them to arrange a mutual appropriate telephone conference time. ...assuming you wish to settle in mediation before the claim moved to trial. Don't pay the hearing fee early until you have been through this process but don't miss the direction date by which it needs to be paid.

 

Andy

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