Forums / Getting Technical / Legal & Accounting / Can purchaser make a claim after settlement

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  • Profile photo of Paddy9Paddy9
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    @paddy9
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 3

    I live in Perth WA. Recently sold and settled on a house.  Sale contract contained a standard real estate agents Annexure A Plant & Equipment , stating all electrical, gas, plumbing plant & equipment, etc, shall be in good working order up to and including settlement date.  It also states purchaser can inspect these items within 5 days prior to settlement. Also states if at any time of the Final Inspection that any item requires repairs, then seller must carry out at own expense these repairs or replace, otherwise funds shall be held back settlement to cover them. All good, however purchaser DID NOT DO A PRE-SETTLEMENT INSPECTION, and we settled on property.  He is now complaining and saying several items not working properly.  I wasn't happy, but decided to fix these things anyway, not worth the drama.  Purchaser is now demanding compensation ($2K – $3K) saying as he couldn't rent the house out because of these things not done, he wants us to pay him $1K per week from settlement. Anyone know if he can legally do this in WA?

    Profile photo of Scott No MatesScott No Mates
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    @scott-no-mates
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 3,850

    The purchaser waived their right to repairs when they did not inspect prior to settlement, you have settled, walk away.

    Why did your solicitors/Conveyancer pass your contact details to the purchaser?

    What do they have to say about post-settlement issues?

    Has the purchaser proven that they have suffered a loss/damages by being unable to lease the property, not unwilling?

    Profile photo of Paddy9Paddy9
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    @paddy9
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 3

    Purchaser is contacting me via MY real estate agent, who I paid commission to!  I believe my agent is being bullied by purchaser and consequently telling me I have to do this or "it will be bigger than Ben Hur".  I think he thinks I'm the easier head to kick, rather than stand up to this guy. We (agent & I)  have had a couple of "unsavoury" telephone conversations, as I believe once it's settled, that's the end of it on my part. 

    Settlement agent (conveyancer) suggests I get legal advice, which I want to avoid the cost of doing, hence my query on this site.

    Property settled 14th March, all items repaired today (30/3).  In my opinion the items that required attentiion would not stop a property from being rented, providing prospective tenants were advised they would be repaired in a specific timeframe. Its a very old house which hasn't been lived in for nearly 2 years, I've never lived in it as I bought it with intention of demolishing and building new house, so I was unaware of most of the repairs they required until after settlement when they pointed them out. Of course, had they bothered to do the pre-settlement inspection they would have noticed these things then.   By the way, we're talking about a $2.6m property, and purchasers are very well-heeled, running 2 separate successful businesses, so they're not naive boguns. 

    They haven't proven how they have suffered financially, but I'm sure they'll come up with something.  I tried to rent it out a year ago at $400pw with no luck, so if they can get $1K pw, they're pretty good!

    Profile photo of Scott No MatesScott No Mates
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    @scott-no-mates
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 3,850

    Personally , I’d be standing firm. Tell the rea where to get off, they are probably now the property management looking to lease it.. Tell the rea that there is no comeback, they purchased ‘warts & all’ & they got what they had inspected. If the buyer undertook neither pre-purchase nor pre-settlement inspections, then caveat emptor, they would have discovered the condition of the premises & made appropriate requisitions. If the agent misled the buyers it’s not your problem.

    Profile photo of Kent CliffeKent Cliffe
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    @kent-cliffe
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 110

    I would at the very least get a solicitor to look over Annexure A and explain your implications. If for any reason you could be hold to account in the contract it would be easier settling out of court rather then allowing it to progress (this is not advice). That is if there is anyway the buyer could due money.

    However, if the solicitor believes you are safe (which is often very hard to be 100% sure) then be assertive. 

    P.S. Explain to the solicitor about the concessions you have made to him already. You wouldn’t want to do anything that could have implications.

    Profile photo of DerekDerek
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    @derek
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 3,544

    Some people get off trying to bash and bully their way forward without consideration of others and these people could be using this strategy to cover up for their mistake. Reading your post and without seeing your contracts I think you are safe.

    But get legal advice. Small cost big benefit – you either find out you aren't liable = no worries. You find out you are liable = work to reduce exposure.  

    Other comment – don't make any more concessions without first speaking to a legal beagle.

    Any concessions, on your part, could be construed to be acknowledgment of error on your part.

    Profile photo of aussieguy2000aussieguy2000
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    @aussieguy2000
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 81

    Some people run "successful businesses" by being tight, and always trying to blame someone else, using stand-over tactics to try and get people to pay up so they can save themselves a few bucks.

    I remember when I was younger my parents rented a house from a dragon of a landlord, wealthy, well connected woman, the house had run down carpet, peeling paint and benchtops with burns that were falling apart. She initially wanted to do it up (re-carpet, repaint… not sure about the bench tops but anyway…) my mother said no need, as having four kids we would only wreck it anyway. When we moved out she tried to claim these things were caused by us, she was very demanding and very stand-over, she even sent her solicitor around to our new house demanding we pay for these things or it will end up in court. My mother dug her heels in and told him where to go and not to come to our house again, reminding him that all these items were already on the initial inspection report. Needless to say we never heard from them again, it was just a bullying stand-over tactic.

    My point being if you have a contract that says that if it isn't working on the day of settlement monies will be held to pay for it, and no monies were held back, then the items must have been working… the new owners have to prove that it wasn't working the day of settlement, and no compo would be payable as they had up to five days before settlement to tell you these items needed repairing…

    A few minor appliances not working would never hold up in court, seek legal advise if you wish, however I would tell them and the REA to not contact me again and to have their solicitor provide to me where the breach of contract occurred…

    mattnz
    Participant
    @mattnz
    Join Date: 2007
    Post Count: 574

    $2.6 million unrenovated property, that cant rent for $400 per week!! Surely they haven’t purchased to rent out anyway. I bet you don’t see any advertisements for renting the property coming up. They must plan a development themselves and are just trying it on.

    Profile photo of ALF1ALF1
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    @alf1
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 237

    You have met all your legal obligations under the terms of a WA Real Estate Sale's Contract – you owe the purchaser nothing. You tell this ignoramous purchaser that you have sought legal advice and the advice is this: you (purchaser) ignored your rights as outlined in the pre-settlement contract so "caveat emptor" or "buyer beware". Oh, and remind YOUR real estate agent that acted legally for YOU that he/she has a fiduciary duty of care to protect YOU and could possibly face litigation themselves for possible breaches under the Privacy Act 1988. You may also have legal recourse against both the Real Estate Agent and the Purchaser for Tort Damages for work you have already completed that could be argued in court were completed under duress.Call the Purchasers bluff because that is all it is!
    I must, however, qualify the preceding statements as to be not guaranteed nor acted upon as I have responded to your questions based upon limited information, but, if the information you have supplied is accurate then it would probably be prudent to look up a local lawyer who offers a free 1st consultation and run it past him or her?
    Kind regards,

    Profile photo of Paddy9Paddy9
    Member
    @paddy9
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 3

    Thank you everyone for your comments and advice, very much appreciated.  Have since got legal advice and you're all correct.  Interestingly I haven't heard anything more from my real estate agent/purchaser since our last verbal altercation (which was before I got onto this site), where I told him to "bring it on" .  Will keep you posted.

    Profile photo of savymeenssavymeens
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    @savymeens
    Join Date: 2013
    Post Count: 1

    Hi

    We purchased a property today in VIC. We had done a pre -inspection before settlement and found that the electrical appliances are not working and neither the air conditioning systems has got their remotes. We have told the estate agent as well as conveyance about it and asked if the vender can fix these issues before the settlement . but got no answer from either vender or our convenyancer. The first time when we did the property inspection , there was no electricity or gas connection.And now the property is been settled without our consent and convensar assured us that they are going to ask for some compensation or withheld the money, but nothing has been done .Can we ask for compensation or not.

    We feel like we have been ripped off the money we have paid for.

    Profile photo of TerrywTerryw
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    @terryw
    Join Date: 2001
    Post Count: 16,190
    savymeens wrote:
    Hi

    We purchased a property today in VIC. We had done a pre -inspection before settlement and found that the electrical appliances are not working and neither the air conditioning systems has got their remotes. We have told the estate agent as well as conveyance about it and asked if the vender can fix these issues before the settlement . but got no answer from either vender or our convenyancer. The first time when we did the property inspection , there was no electricity or gas connection.And now the property is been settled without our consent and convensar assured us that they are going to ask for some compensation or withheld the money, but nothing has been done .Can we ask for compensation or not.

    We feel like we have been ripped off the money we have paid for.

    Did you instruct your conveyancer not to settle? if so you may have a claim agains them.

    Terryw | Structuring Lawyers / Loan Structuring Pty Ltd
    http://propertytaxbook.com.au/
    Email Me

    Lawyer, Mortgage Broker and Tax Advisor (Aust wide) http://propertytaxbook.com.au/

    Profile photo of jodyjody
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    @jbradburn
    Join Date: 2017
    Post Count: 1

    hello can I be held accountable for repairs 10 days after settlement when the purchaser has done an inspection prior to settlement as well as a builders inspection.

    Profile photo of TerrywTerryw
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    @terryw
    Join Date: 2001
    Post Count: 16,190

    hello can I be held accountable for repairs 10 days after settlement when the purchaser has done an inspection prior to settlement as well as a builders inspection.

    Deepends.

    Terryw | Structuring Lawyers / Loan Structuring Pty Ltd
    http://propertytaxbook.com.au/
    Email Me

    Lawyer, Mortgage Broker and Tax Advisor (Aust wide) http://propertytaxbook.com.au/

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