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WA Property Law - Issues with House Purchase - Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Perthwa, 9 January 2016.

  1. Perthwa

    Perthwa Member

    8 January 2016
    Likes Received:
    We signed an Offer and Acceptance Contract on a property in November 2015.

    Around June 2015, a house came on the market. All offers were to be in by a certain date as the seller was leaving the country. Our offer was the highest and we attempted to negotiate a deal. The seller would not counter offer and we were told they would sign the contract at the end of the month.

    This carried on from the June through to September and we decided to withdraw as it became apparent the seller was not true to his word. We found another property and before signing the contract, we gave the seller of the first property one more chance to sell the house. The seller signed the contract. The seller had purchased the property with furniture and these items were part of the deal.

    Because it had taken over three months to negotiate with the seller, our pre-approved finance had expired. We were expecting funds from overseas and we said to the agent we were unsure if the deal would be financed or cash. We also said at the time the contract was written up we may need an extension if it were financed and we were told most people do have to extend and it would be no problem. We did request an extension and signed a variation form, unbeknownst to us the seller would not sign this but was agreeable to the extension.

    We went to the house for an inspection and none of the conditions had been met, the light fittings were flashing and hanging from the ceiling. Taps hanging from the faucet, rustic and not working, etc. All the items that needed fixing were listed down. We also wanted verification if there were hard-wired smoke alarms and RCD fitted. We had to have an electrician to our house and were given a certificate and we required the same from the owner as it is a requirement in our state.

    At the inspection, the seller (through an interpreter) asked if he had to leave the house at settlement. He was leaving the country and wanted to remain in the house until he was ready to leave. We received an email from the seller's settlement agent the following day asking if we would give the seller two weeks from when we received our funds and we agreed. Again he would not sign any variation. We were approved for the finance a few days later and told the settlement agent. This was on Thursday and the settlement agent wrote back saying the seller wanted to settle the following Monday.

    This was not achievable and we said we could settle two weeks later. We were sent a letter from the sellers settlement agent saying the seller was charging us late fees from the date he requested for more time in the house. He also wanted us to store furniture for two weeks after we moved in the house. He blocked the bank valuer from entering the house until we agreed with his conditions.

    We were also receiving different penalty fee amounts. He changed dates and fees by nine days and wanted $10,000 dollars. We were then sent a Mutual Agreement to Terminate the contract if we did not agree to his terms. The valuer was attempting to do the bank valuation on Friday and we gave him our terms, which were;

    1. A settlement date that was achievable and extended by one week (Not allowing the valuation had held up the bank).

    2. We would not store his furniture - (we had requested an inventory of the furniture and that we would not be responsible for it). The settlement agent would not provide this.

    3. No penalty fees.

    4. The seller to fix all the items listed on the contract.

    5. If these conditions were not acceptable we would sign the Mutual Termination.

    The seller let the valuer inspect the property and we thought all was okay as the agent had called and said "we got there in the end".

    The following Monday we receive another letter from the seller's settlement agent saying we had to agree to store his furniture and new dates for penalty fees. The real estate had offered the seller to store his furniture so we didn't understand why he was making this a condition.

    We signed the Mutual Agreement and returned it to the settlement agent. Our bank advised us not to go ahead and the seller's settlement agent would not respond to our questions regarding fixing the broken items or the furniture items.

    We offered the seller 25% of our deposit (10,000) and this was refused. We received an offer from the seller that we pay $50,000 to terminate the contract. A week later we receive a letter asking when we can settle.

    The house is in a company name and the seller has returned to China. Apparently he owes a lot of money and the house will be sold but not by him, by the partners he owes money too.

    We are going to a lawyer but thought I would ask your opinion on this property law matter.
  2. Michael T

    Michael T Well-Known Member

    9 April 2014
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    How did you go with this? I hope you went to get specific legal advice as your issue(s) looked quite complicated.
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