Estate Agent Edited Contract post signature without consent

Discussion in 'Legal & Regulatory' started by Mark Sheridan, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. Mark Sheridan

    Mark Sheridan New Member

    Good Morning - I am hoping someone can confirm my concerns on the recent sale of my property.

    When we listed the property we agreed 2% fee flat with no mention of plus VAT. We completed on the sale on Friday the 25th October and when we reviewed the outstanding charges from our solicitor we could see that the fees from the estate agent were nearly £2K more than expected. When we queried this we were told that VAT was added.

    We had no idea this would be the case so we checked the signed contract from the estate agent. It looks like the fee was blank on the contract. This is a picture of it below.

    fee.png

    When we queried this further the estate agent, he admitted that they added the values and simply sent a letter to tell us they did so? Again you can see this attached. To note, EVERY single detail was entered on the contract by the estate agent except the fee so not sure why that would our responsibility to add?

    fee1.png

    Can someone confirm if this is legal? I would have thought any changes to a contract especially something like the fee should be agreed with the seller and then initialed on the contract.

    This estate agent is also states it follows the TPO Code of Practice yet one of their values are - “VAT on fees – to ensure all fees and charges are quoted inclusive of VAT.” which obviously hasn't happened.

    If you look under section 5X of the TPO Code of Practice for Residential Estate agents you will see the following:

    IMG11.jpg
    The only thing from solicitor has abided from the above is sending a letter stating the rate. Not once did the let us know that this data was missing on the original contract and they added it.


    I just want to know if i have a case worth fighting here and if so what is the best avenue to escalate this

    Thanks for reading and appreciate any replies

    Mark


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  2. realdeals

    realdeals Active Member

    Sneaky practice but you should have checked the contract before you signed it. Legally have they fulfilled their duties telling you that the fee was added later? Probably, but did you receive the letter? I presume you agreed fees at some stage?

    The adding of VAT is sneaky but I think they would probably get away with it if it went to court. I would try and bargain them down on price.
     
  3. Conrad Paton

    Conrad Paton New Member

    Hi,

    Before I comment further, do you actually hold a copy of the contract as signed by you without the fee being present and or other clauses.

    I am an online estate agent (part time) and a full time property developer for 12+ years.
     
  4. Mark Sheridan

    Mark Sheridan New Member

    Thanks for the replies. Yes we do have the contract signed by ourselves without fee being present.

    after talking with a solicitor today he confirmed that if changes were made to the contract post signatures then we should have signed with our consent.

    We have escalated this today internally with the estate agent in question and managed to get the attention of someone very senior. We will see what they come back with.
     
  5. Conrad Paton

    Conrad Paton New Member

    Hi Mark,

    I hope you managed to get this sorted.

    Seeking professional was a wise move
     
  6. Mark Sheridan

    Mark Sheridan New Member

    Thanks Conrad - we just got work today that the VAT will be refunded to us. A win for sure. Its amazing what some estate agents think they can get away with.
     
  7. Conrad Paton

    Conrad Paton New Member

    Gratz Mark.

    I hope you are pleased with that result.

    I'm in the process of helping someone I met at my sons saturday mini league football match, who's letting letting agent is charging them £600 'admin' fee to present an AST to tenants that the agent did not even find. Plus commission, plus EPC charge, plus who knows what else.

    Charging to download an EPC from a register??? I mean who does that??

    Kind regards

    Conrad Paton
     
  8. Well done - it just shows if you push things you can often get a good result :)

    Did they give an explanation about the contract being changed further down the line?
     
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