February 17 letters: Serious gap in law allowed ‘buyer’ of our home to withdraw

From: Peter F Dewhirst, Norton Mill Lane, Norton, Doncaster.

OVER the years I have enjoyed The Yorkshire Post, particularly the legal issues with regard to house property covered by the excellent laws protecting the public with regard to the purchase and selling of private houses.

After my recent experience in selling my house, it is evident that there is a serious gap in the law.

In early November 2014 we had three separate visits from a prospective purchaser who informed me if his offer was accepted he wanted to move 
into our house as soon as possible.

His offer was accepted via our selling agent and we shook hands in mid-November, the agreed date for the move being December 15.

Having been assured by our selling agent that the buyer had demonstrated he had funds in place and was a cash buyer, we moved out of our property on December 15 and was contacted by the buyer saying he would be completing later that day and would be moving in on December 16.

We could not move into our new property for another 
week so we had no option but to put all our house contents into storage,

Over the Christmas and New Year period we had contact from our purchaser again confirming it was his intention to purchase our property and according to his solicitor he arranged to visit and complete approximately eight times but on six occasions he did not turn up, making all sorts of excuses which turned out to be lies.

My wife and I, both in our 70s and in view of the holiday 
period found this very stressful in the extreme, having to live out a of suitcase with friends and family.

After numerous attempts to contact our purchaser, our agents finally contacted them early January and it was confirmed yet again it was their intention to purchase the property.

Less than an hour after this confirmation our agents received an email stating that they were withdrawing their offer.

The whole experience has been most distressing, particularly for my wife, as well as costing us in excess of £4,000 in solicitors fees and moving costs etc.

Had such shameful actions been under Scottish Law we understand this arrogant action by our buyers would have resulted in them having to meet our costs, but in English Law no such protection exists for my wife and I.