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  • FIRST POST
    • Ultra64
    • By Ultra64 14th May 18, 1:44 PM
    • 24Posts
    • 15Thanks
    Ultra64
    Vendor / developer has pulled out after exchange
    • #1
    • 14th May 18, 1:44 PM
    Vendor / developer has pulled out after exchange 14th May 18 at 1:44 PM
    Hello all,

    I need advise. I put down a reservation fee down in November 2016 on a new build property that they said would be ready for completion of February 2017. We exchanged contracts in January 2017.

    The development is about a year and 5 months behind schedule now, and was all ready to complete any day now, as other people in the block had been served the completion notice. Out of the blue I get a phone call this morning from the estate agent saying they have a received en email from the developer's solicitor saying they are terminating the contract with me!!!

    Does anyone know where I stand legally? If this definitely gets cancelled and I lose the property I 100% intend to take the developers to court.

    I have wasted a year and half waiting for this property to be finished, I have purchased furniture to go in this particular property, I have solicitors fees I still need to pay, I have had to extend my mortgage 3 times which has cost me extra money, and the biggest one out of all of them is property prices have risen, I will no longer be able to get a property like this one again now.

    Any advise and help would be gratefully appreciated.

    Many Thanks
    Last edited by Ultra64; 14-05-2018 at 1:46 PM. Reason: spelling mistakes
Page 2
    • Ultra64
    • By Ultra64 14th May 18, 4:42 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Ultra64
    Yes I see it that way too. But leaving me having for a year a half is not right. I've lost money on solicitors fees, mortgage fees and I am just not going to accept this.
    • mrschaucer
    • By mrschaucer 14th May 18, 4:44 PM
    • 530 Posts
    • 598 Thanks
    mrschaucer
    It says the contract can only be cancelled by whom? in the event that notice to complete is not served by 27th October 2017. The developers solicitors have provided a new anticipated completion date of the 29th September 2017 ( originally February 2017). Under the terms of the new agreement, the latest date at which completion can take place is 10th November 2017.
    Originally posted by stuco36
    Well then, notice to complete was NOT served by 27th October 2017. Who has this right to cancel - both you and the developer?
    Anticipated completion dates are neither here nor there; it depends on who has the right to cancel and when according to the contract.

    Sorry, cross posted!
    • Ultra64
    • By Ultra64 14th May 18, 4:53 PM
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    Ultra64
    I'm sure it said both have the right to cancel. That is just a brief letter letter from the solicitors letter in my paperwork. They never sent me a copy I signed and had to send back. I have requested it from my solicitors early this morning. They still haven't sent it to me.

    I probably don't have much to stand on legally. But leaving me hanging for a year a half is not right. I've lost money on solicitors fees, mortgage fees and I am just not going to accept this.
    • Richard Webster
    • By Richard Webster 14th May 18, 5:05 PM
    • 7,455 Posts
    • 7,181 Thanks
    Richard Webster
    2 Things -

    1 Did your solicitors advise you that it was possible that the developer could get out of the contract? If not complain and threaten to sue them. If you have to buy something else they may have toi pay the extra cost.

    2. If they are still marketing houses on the development set up camp inside/immediately outside the sales office and tell any prospective buyers what has happened to you and suggest that they might not want to deal with this developer.
    RICHARD WEBSTER

    As a retired conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful assuming any properties concerned are in England/Wales but I accept no liability for it.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 14th May 18, 8:48 PM
    • 25,562 Posts
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    Davesnave
    CORRECTION; Priced out of the market they are actually already safely in - until the developer did the dirty on them.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    It makes no difference whether its governments, bankers or private companies who are to blame, there is no such thing as 'safe' in relation to the housing market.

    OP needs to buy a home. We don't know yet, but they may well have to alter course now. Some of us have had something similar happen, so we've an idea of what it feels like, but the general message is that they'll get over this set-back.
    If you are finding huge gaps between your paragraphs, MSE know about the problem. However, they aren't necessarily doing anything about it. More changes on the way?
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5844460
    • Ultra64
    • By Ultra64 14th May 18, 9:13 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Ultra64
    I've calmed down a lot now. But I will be heading to my solicitors first thing in the morning to get answers. They don't answer the phone much. I'll get hold of all the paperwork and contracts and get them to contact the developers solicitors for answers. I want to know why and I want to be compensated for my solicitors fees, mortgage fees, I've had to get 3 as this process has gone on for too long. How can they do this to someone, on the week of completion after a year and half. I will 100% take them to court though as I know they won't want to pay the loses I've had due to this process.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 14th May 18, 9:22 PM
    • 2,671 Posts
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    steampowered
    Sorry to hear about this stressful situation.

    You haven't actually told us what your contract says about termination rights. It would be very helpful for people to offer an opinion if you are able to copy and paste the exact wording of the clause labelled "termination".

    I would also be on the phone constantly to your solicitor - and emailing them asking for their urgent attention - and asking for the responsible partner if you don't get anywhere. This is where your solicitor really needs to pick up the ball.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 14th May 18, 9:24 PM
    • 2,671 Posts
    • 2,604 Thanks
    steampowered
    OP needs to buy a home. We don't know yet, but they may well have to alter course now. Some of us have had something similar happen, so we've an idea of what it feels like, but the general message is that they'll get over this set-back.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    If it turns out the developer is in breach of contract, and the Op is forced to buy another property, the developer will be liable to pay the Op cash damages to compensate him/her for the value he/she was required to pay under the contract and the current market value of the property.

    This could be quite a valuable monetary claim. And would be of sufficient value to use a proper litigation solicitor - since for claims above 10k the winning party in litigation can claim their legal costs.

    All a big IF though. As it depends whether the developer was entitled to terminate the contract or not.
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 14th May 18, 9:42 PM
    • 2,104 Posts
    • 2,868 Thanks
    comeandgo
    OP, it's usual for developers to have a different ltd company for every development they do, it's usually named as Comeandgo (Highlands) Ltd, and on another development it would be Comeandgo (East Yorkshire) Ltd. This is to stop a disastrous development taking down the whole Comeandgo Ltd company, so maybe that is what you are seeing on Companies House.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 14th May 18, 10:42 PM
    • 2,644 Posts
    • 4,174 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    If it turns out the developer is in breach of contract, and the Op is forced to buy another property, the developer will be liable to pay the Op cash damages to compensate him/her for the value he/she was required to pay under the contract and the current market value of the property.

    This could be quite a valuable monetary claim. And would be of sufficient value to use a proper litigation solicitor - since for claims above 10k the winning party in litigation can claim their legal costs.

    All a big IF though. As it depends whether the developer was entitled to terminate the contract or not.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    I would say from what we have heard they were, and to be honest the chances of them doing so, if they weren't, are vanishingly small.
    • Ultra64
    • By Ultra64 14th May 18, 10:44 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Ultra64
    Sorry to hear about this stressful situation.

    You haven't actually told us what your contract says about termination rights. It would be very helpful for people to offer an opinion if you are able to copy and paste the exact wording of the clause labelled "termination".

    I would also be on the phone constantly to your solicitor - and emailing them asking for their urgent attention - and asking for the responsible partner if you don't get anywhere. This is where your solicitor really needs to pick up the ball.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    What I wrote earlier was the only thing in the paper work I had:

    'In the contract it says anticipated completion date: 31st March 2017 (it was previously February 2017) So well over a year behind schedule (when I could have been buying a different property).

    It says 'Termination Date June 2017 (11 months ago). I would rather they would have done it then rather that waiting to the week everyone else was moving in to tell me they are stopping the contract.

    They even sent me the lease to sign last week.'

    But, this is why I am going straight to my solicitors tomorrow morning to see them face to face and to get a copy of the proper exchange contract that I signed. I have asked for urgency from them, but I get nothing back...I will sit in their office all day if need be as so far they haven't done much throughout this whole ordeal. I just find it very odd that 15 months late and everyone apart from me and completing and they are trying to get rid of just me....and the very last possible minute.
    • Ultra64
    • By Ultra64 14th May 18, 10:50 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Ultra64
    I would say from what we have heard they were, and to be honest the chances of them doing so, if they weren't, are vanishingly small.
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    If they are legally allowed to do it....and if they were I think it was way back in June, they have waited 11 months to do it, and just as I was prepared to move in. MY parents place is full of everything I was going to take to the property. One of my girlfriend's room in her home has been off limits for over a year as the sofa I purchased has been stuck in there. I don't know how people can legally get treated this way. I would have preferred they did it back in June, at least I could of got on looking for something else.

    Again, I will hopefully have the proper contract tomorrow with all the info.
    • Ultra64
    • By Ultra64 15th May 18, 7:58 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Ultra64
    I have the section in the agreement:

    If such notice has not been served by the termination date then either party may determine this agreement by serving on the other written notice to that effect whereupon this agreement shall lapse and the deposit shall be returned to the Buyer within 10 working days of such determination.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 15th May 18, 8:08 AM
    • 16,156 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I've calmed down a lot now. But I will be heading to my solicitors first thing in the morning to get answers. They don't answer the phone much. I'll get hold of all the paperwork and contracts and get them to contact the developers solicitors for answers. I want to know why and I want to be compensated for my solicitors fees, mortgage fees, I've had to get 3 as this process has gone on for too long. How can they do this to someone, on the week of completion after a year and half. I will 100% take them to court though as I know they won't want to pay the loses I've had due to this process.
    Originally posted by stuco36
    Don't forget to ask if there is any way you can force them to Complete.

    After all, as you've pointed out, you'll have to get a lower value place now because of them if you can't get them to finish the deal. Why should you be put in that position?

    EDIT; An off-the-wall idea is whether you could move in anyway on due Completion Day (complete with taking a press photographer with you to take photos of you in your new should-be-new-home). I wonder if they'd have the nerve to physically eject you from your home - considering just how much bad publicity you could inflict on them?

    EDIT; Do you know why they are trying to do this to you - but haven't done it to these other people? What's the difference between you and them? I do not agree with "playing the Discrimination Card" normally (as people use that wrongly so often) - but could there be an element of discrimination going on here (some way you are different from the ones that have completed okay). I bet the company wouldnt like to be at risk of that sort of publicity either if so.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 15-05-2018 at 8:15 AM.
    ****************
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 15th May 18, 8:30 AM
    • 8,045 Posts
    • 8,311 Thanks
    davidmcn
    If such notice has not been served by the termination date then either party may determine this agreement by serving on the other written notice to that effect whereupon this agreement shall lapse and the deposit shall be returned to the Buyer within 10 working days of such determination.
    Originally posted by stuco36
    So, either you or the developer can walk away from the contract at any point after 10 November 2017. You both agreed to that when you signed up to the contract, you can't unilaterally try to change the terms now.

    As above, the only possible angle I can see is whether you got adequate advice about it from your solicitors, but that won't help you actually get the house.

    Don't forget to ask if there is any way you can force them to Complete.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    There won't be.

    An off-the-wall idea is whether you could move in anyway on due Completion Day (complete with taking a press photographer with you to take photos of you in your new should-be-new-home).
    By breaking into a half-built house? I suspect the police would be on the scene pretty quickly...
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 15th May 18, 8:32 AM
    • 8,083 Posts
    • 14,733 Thanks
    bowlhead99
    So, if you'd read your contact earlier you'd know that both you and they could have pulled out with a trivial amount of notice and terminate any time after the termination date, which you said was almost a year ago. So since then, either of you could walk away. Not quite sure how that squares what you had previously said, "It says the contract can only be cancelled in the event that notice to complete is not served by 27th October 2017", but one of them probably overrules the other and both of them point to it being cancellable as early as 2017 let alone May 2018.

    These sort of contractually agreed terms protect both parties when the build doesn't happen within the initial agreed timescale. A year after the planned completion the market may have changed or they may have had problems with the build or your job and family situation might be different and one or both sides might want to cancel for your own reasons.

    So, although you said last night that you don't know how it can be legal, you can see that you chose to make it legal by signing a contract with those terms and the deal has been at risk of someone walking away from it, since last year.

    I know this doesn't sound welcome our helpful but you can see it is in black and white on the "proper" contract you entered into, unless there is some other clause or subsequent amendment you haven't shown us, which overrules it.

    If the property still exists and is close to being finished, do they have some plan to offer it to you for a new price? Ot are they just going to sell it to someone else? Have your solicitor enquire.
    • LandyAndy
    • By LandyAndy 15th May 18, 8:33 AM
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    LandyAndy
    EDIT; An off-the-wall idea is whether you could move in anyway on due Completion Day (complete with taking a press photographer with you to take photos of you in your new should-be-new-home). I wonder if they'd have the nerve to physically eject you from your home - considering just how much bad publicity you could inflict on them?

    .
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    And where do they get the keys?

    This isn't off the wall, it's off the planet.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 15th May 18, 8:34 AM
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    Davesnave
    You didn't answer my first question regarding why you chose this particular solicitor, who has been "not very good" for 18 months.

    Did the developer suggest them to you?
    If you are finding huge gaps between your paragraphs, MSE know about the problem. However, they aren't necessarily doing anything about it. More changes on the way?
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5844460
    • Ultra64
    • By Ultra64 15th May 18, 8:43 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Ultra64
    Just spoken to my solicitors and they said off the record they think it's because I was complaining about all the issues. But, they were all valid. There is supossed to be a built in wardrobe in the flat. Everyone else had there's except mine. Instead mine had a radiator there as someone out it there by mistake, which meant no wardrobe was there. I asked them if this could rectified over6 months ago, to which they agreed. Everything I visited it had not been done, so I emailed obviously complaining that this needs to be done. Then I went in just over a week ago to do the snagging as I knew completion was just around the corner. I have showed the images to other builders who said this was not acceptable and way beyond what snagging should be. Part of the balcony looked bent and 20 years old already. So I emailed them to say could this be fixed. And that's it.....I've been very calm and patient considering this has been going on over a year and half.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 15th May 18, 8:56 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Sounds like newspaper it is then - the one with the biggest circulation going and photo of you standing outside with suitcases ready to move in.

    If you can't force them to proceed - then you might at least get a more generous deal out of them to "shut up and get out of their hair".

    You may well be right as to what the difference is between you and the others - ie you have complained and they "put up and shut up". That now has me wondering what else the developer knows very well they've cheapskated through and would be expecting you to find out about it and scream about that too - ie once you've moved in and had a chance to inspect the place closely.
    ****************
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