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To refuse to pay for developers mistake??

(36 Posts)
outwardbound Tue 27-Sep-11 12:00:26

I bought an appartment offered with vacant possesion I negotiated over the price and said we wer'nt interested in the furnishings and would only make an offer on the property we haggled back and forth and agreed to a price I asked for a list of contents and carried on with the deal.
We exchanged and completed got the keys and moved in we were surprised to see thay had not cleared the appartment but believed they had taken what they wanted, so we relocated our own furniture in good faith, A week later I am called and told they need to make arrangments to collect all the items (we were never given a contents list to agree and sign) I express my shock and explain that we have moved in, they say that if I would like to cover the expense of moving the furniturn they would come to a deal with me, I refused saying I thought it was there mistake and that the contract states "all chattels in and included on any attached list are included in the sale" they are now threatening me with court action if I do not allow them access to remove these items or pay them £1000

I am at my wits end with worry and would appreciate your opinion

slavetofilofax Tue 27-Sep-11 12:03:15

Have you still got all the items? What kind of things are we talking about here?

ElsieMc Tue 27-Sep-11 12:04:47

Did you use a solicitor or conveyancer? There should be a property info and some kind of fixtures/fittings form from what I can remember which will state what was included in the sale.

However, they should have cleared the property prior to completion and I think some arrangement will have to be come to. You need to take some advice but I would say that you have now "stored" their property for them for a week or so and that would of course accrue a charge.

Contact your legal advisor and negotiate. It's not worth stressing out over.

Uglymush Tue 27-Sep-11 12:05:42

My understanding is that what ever is left in the property at the legal time of hand over is yours. But a quick call to your solicitor or Citizens Advice Bureau should confirm

outwardbound Tue 27-Sep-11 12:06:20

it had been a show appartment, empty for 2 years the furniture is basic 2 beds, sofa, dinning table chairs, yes I still have the items and am letting the place out as planned as Iv moved to Cyprus, this was completed in July

stealthsquiggle Tue 27-Sep-11 12:10:07

You completed. The property is yours. If they left stuff, that is their mistake, surely?

[disclaimer - I have no idea what the legal position is - I would go back to the solicitor/conveyancer you used IIWY - but the people we bought our house from left stuff that we hadn't agreed to or paid them for - some of which was a PITA to get rid of, other things which were really useful (like a nice big chest freezer). It never occurred to us that they could suddenly decide they did want them after all!]

At the very least you need an exact list of what they think they are coming to collect.

outwardbound Tue 27-Sep-11 12:10:10

I now think foolishly! I used their solicitor because they offered a good deal to keep things in house?! as soon as things got nasty he told me he cant help me because this is litigation and he's not qualified? so I also feel abit dumped

I did ask for a written list of contents but was never given one although I had to provide one with the sale of my house?

diddl Tue 27-Sep-11 12:10:30

Why didn´t you check with them before you got rid of your stuff?

Especially as you had negotiated without furnishings?

outwardbound Tue 27-Sep-11 12:14:59

stealthsquiggle.. yes I believe it was their mistake and felt very confident but being away and recieving very threatening emails from them threatening court and baliffs has been quite frightening, I even wondered if it was deliberately left in the first place?

pearlym Tue 27-Sep-11 12:18:09

i think you well know it is not yours. agree a time for collection adn get it done

ColdSancerre Tue 27-Sep-11 12:18:23

I was just going to suggest that - they didn't want the stuff and you refused to buy it so it was cheaper to leave it behind than to get it moved, now they're trying it on. I would contact CAB (can you do that from overseas?).

stealthsquiggle Tue 27-Sep-11 12:19:08

Having had a quick look at the CAB site, it is not clear cut - they are obliged to clear the property, but it's not at all clear that if they don't you have a right to keep stuff.

I would have a look and maybe ask them directly - here

GalaxyWeaver Tue 27-Sep-11 12:20:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

outwardbound Tue 27-Sep-11 12:21:11

diddl...the sale itself took weeks to exchange and complete I honestly thought they used the furniture in the negotiations only to get the price up I told them I was'nt interested, they never provided a list so I presumed it was all part of the game play and that they had been in and taken what they wanted (telly, fridge)

I was delighted when I saw they'd left the majority of the stuff and being a huge development company I thought they knew what was being left

eurochick Tue 27-Sep-11 12:25:20

It sounds like your solicitor has been negligent in the purchase by not ensuring that the seller provided the list it should have provided. In my view it is always a bad idea to use the other side's solicitor but nonetheless he/she owed you a duty. And has f***ed up.

The best idea would be to see another solicitor to advise you on this. But for the value of some second hand furniture it is probably not worth it.

If it ends up in court action, the solicitor who acted on the conveyance is going to have its actions looked at by the judge. And from what you have posted here, that probably won't go well for him/her. I would be inclined to write them a letter setting out the following:

-he/she was your solicitor for the conveyance
-you asked for a list of the contents
-no list was produced
-you completed on the apartment
-you reasonably thought, having not agreed any price for furniture that they had removed everything they wanted prior to completion
-you had too much furniture so were forced to relocate some of it
-what do they propose to do about this mess?

Write a similar letter to the developer or whoever it is trying to reclaim the furniture calming setting out the background and telling them that you have completed on the property and they cannot have access.

Is the apartment owned by you personally or a UK-registered company/individual? If the former, there is no way it will be worth their while to issue a court claim for second hand furniture outside the jurisdiction.

As a fallback is there any compromise you would be willing to make (e.g. pay them a couple of hundred quid to go away?) not because you are in teh wrong but because this is undoubtedly stressful.

outwardbound Tue 27-Sep-11 12:27:37

Galaxyweaver...We did'nt negotiate with NO furniture that would make all this much easier, they said you cant have it for that price its furnished you know.I said not bothereed take it out. they said well maybe you pay this much we can leave some but obviously not the tv and music system. I said I wanted the carpets, blinds any fittings that would cause damage to remove I asked for a list of contents we agreed a price and that was that , we never got a list, I got the keys 2 weeks before I left and thought they did'nt want the stuff

aquashiv Tue 27-Sep-11 12:30:53

So they left their stuff behind and now you are using it is that right? Personally I would just give it back and get my own.
You could fight it by getting a solicitor involved but for a few hundred pounds is it really worth it?

outwardbound Tue 27-Sep-11 12:33:16

eurochick..thank you for that advice, the appartment is owned by myself, it has been empty since I left England but amazingly as soon as a potential tenent makes enquiries at the letting agents (who a part of the estate agents) I start to get emails threatening court unless I pay them a futher £1000, it has let now which complicates it more but the rent is part of my income and I cant hold back anylonger while this resolves

ViviPru Tue 27-Sep-11 12:35:15

Good suggestions here, but have you considered posting on the Money Saving Expert house forum? You may find some specialist advice there

Disputandum Tue 27-Sep-11 12:43:11

My friend had a similar situation over a garden shed. She instructed a solicitor (which was a bit mad because he cost more than the shed was worth!) and he said that the shed legally belonged to the seller - even though they had completed weeks ago - but that she could charge him ground rent for storing it. The ground rent came to more than the cost of the shed, so he left it. Could you do something similar?

Oakmaiden Tue 27-Sep-11 12:43:56

Can you move this thread into legal? As I am sure there are people on MN who have professional experience of this sort of thing.

My understanding was that anything left behind at completion became the property of the new owner - and that you should have been contacted PRIOR to completion if there was going to be a problem. But I am not a legal bod, so don't quote me on it.

outwardbound Tue 27-Sep-11 12:44:43

Vivipru thank you I'll try that and thank you to everyone who added their thoughts, I understand it would be easy to give it back and have done , but I did'nt cause any of this. Im just a little fish and I'll fight this as long as I can

diddl Tue 27-Sep-11 12:54:28

Well if there was more left than you agreed to & you´ve signed stating what you wanted, I would have thought it´s theirs.

Whether or not they have the right to enter your property & take it is another matter!

outwardbound Tue 27-Sep-11 13:55:57

diddl...the trouble is nothing was ever signed so if I start giving them some stuff where will it end ? what if they come back for carpets and curtains etc

diddl Tue 27-Sep-11 14:00:57

"all chattels in and included on any attached list are included in the sale"

But if there is a list, surely it´s obvious whether or not the stuff is yours?

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