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Belfast Apartments Buyer 'rushed By Solicitor'


Little Professor
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A man who failed to complete on the purchase of three apartments following the house price crash was not told by his solicitor that he could be held liable for the full amount, the High Court has heard.

IT manager Trevor Scott, 37, of Dunmurry, has reached out-of-court settlements with three property developers over the Belfast apartments.

Mr Scott is suing Moira solicitor John Irwin for the money which he is obliged to pay the developers. The case is one of a number of legal actions which focus on property bought at the height of Northern Ireland's housing boom.

Mr Scott alleges that in two meetings with Mr Irwin in early 2007 when he signed contracts to buy the apartments, he was left with the impression the most he could lose was the booking fee paid to estate agents. In September 2007, Mr Scott said an opportunity arose for him to move to England and he emailed Mr Irwin to see if he could pull out of one of the contracts. "I didn't want to be stuck with properties that may get into negative equity and I wanted to get the matter closed," he told the court.

He said Mr Irwin replied: "Unfortunately contracts have been signed and you would lose at least the £26,000 deposit." "I felt stunned, shocked and sick. Up until then I only believed I would lose the booking deposit - I could not afford to lose this. At this point, I thought there was nothing else to do but buy the apartments to minimise my losses," he said.

Mr Scott said his worries were intensified by a conversation he had with a man in a pub who had also agreed to buy an apartment from one of the developers, PBN Properties.

"I naively told him all you stand to lose is the deposit. He called me stupid and said you have to buy the apartment," he said.

More:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8647746.stm

Edited by Little Professor
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A man who failed to complete on the purchase of three apartments following the house price crash was not told by his solicitor that he could be held liable for the full amount, the High Court has heard.

IT manager Trevor Scott, 37, of Dunmurry, has reached out-of-court settlements with three property developers over the Belfast apartments.

More:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8647746.stm

Unbelievable. Has he never heard of caveat emptor, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caveat_emptor

The thing that perplexes me is how this individual thought that getting his hands on £910k of future mortgage finance - in a credit crunch world or otherwise - would be be plain sailing. Maybe that was never actually factored in as the properties were to be flipped in a rising market to someone else for a tidy profit before completion?

The 910k is broken down as:

£285,000 apartment at Woodlands Manor, Stockman's Way

£310,000 apartment at The Bakery on Ormeau Road

£315,000 apartment at Custom House Square

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Unbelievable. Has he never heard of caveat emptor, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caveat_emptor

The thing that perplexes me is how this individual thought that getting his hands on £910k of future mortgage finance - in a credit crunch world or otherwise - would be be plain sailing. Maybe that was never actually factored in as the properties were to be flipped in a rising market to someone else for a tidy profit before completion?

The 910k is broken down as:

£285,000 apartment at Woodlands Manor, Stockman's Way

£310,000 apartment at The Bakery on Ormeau Road

£315,000 apartment at Custom House Square

2010 prices would be buy 1 get 2 free :ph34r:

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I wouldnt be surprised if quite a few conveyancing meetings when purchasers were siging up for properties during the boom lasted little more than 10 minutes and the main focus was signing on the contract rather than a full in depth discussion of the contract terms.

It is amazing that he appears to beleive that he would be have been in a position (even if he was advised as such by the conveyancer) that he could potentially pull out and only lose the non-returnable booking deposit which would likely only have been approx £1k per Apt. :-

"Mr Scott alleges that in two meetings with Mr Irwin in early 2007 when he signed contracts to buy the apartments, he was left with the impression the most he could lose was the booking fee paid to estate agents. "

"When he expressed concern about the amount of money to be paid for the deposits on the properties, he was reassured that if anything went wrong, the only money he would lose would be the non-refundable booking payments.

Were the developers seriously to (possibly) take on millions of pound of development loans, build the apartments over 18/24 months etc with the associated risk attached, but buyers were going to be able to simply walk away from the contracts and the only risk was approx £1000 booking fee, never mind circa 10% contracted deposit?

Flipping prior to completion may not have been an option as alot of contracts require completion by the contracted purchaser...

Good proof of never sign any document unless you have ensured you have had it fully explained to you and you understand the full ramifications. Get second opinion if unsure..

From looking at this there appears to be nothing unusual in the contract. I simply don't believe this persons story. He has bought and sold before and he is expecting the court to believe that he didn't realise a contract was binding. If someone had of entered into contract to purchase one of the houses he was selling and later, after paying a deposit, had of tried to be pulled out I imagine his understanding of contract law may have been quite a bit clearer.

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From looking at this there appears to be nothing unusual in the contract. I simply don't believe this persons story. He has bought and sold before and he is expecting the court to believe that he didn't realise a contract was binding. If someone had of entered into contract to purchase one of the houses he was selling and later, after paying a deposit, had of tried to be pulled out I imagine his understanding of contract law may have been quite a bit clearer.

Just another bust speculator in denial ;)

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This was obviously a speculator/flipper. I have little sympathy.

I simply don't believe this persons story.

I do believe to story. I was told exactly the same thing by an estate agent in 2007. All I had to do was pay £2000 and sign on the dotted line. Thank feck I found housepricecrash.co.uk before I made the biggest mistake of my lifetime. The opinions of ordinary people on this website have saved me a small fortune. I'm looking forward to getting married, building my own house and having no debt/mortgage.

Thank you everyone for all the help you gave me back then.

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these comments are sad and the people writing them also

lets try to write something happy about the housing market

and its buyers

:lol::lol::lol:

The barrister asked him why he decided to invest in property again, given his previous adverse experience.

Mr Scott said these were intended to be buy-to-flip transactions.

"I was going to buy the apartments then sell them on. I had no intention of letting them out," he said.

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I feel sorry for the guy. Unlike some on here I get no perverse pleasure in watching someones finanical future ruined by property. I was nearly caught out buying a property a few years ago when I was niave. Luckily it fell through for me.

I guess it's easy to lambast those who flip in general terms but when the specific cases are put before you it's hard not to feel a bit of sympathy for those for their future. Many of these people just followed the crowd. People do it - it's human nature.

However, hopefully news stories like this will sound warning bells in peoples minds and those now looking to get on the ladder (myself inc.) will examine the finances of the deals more closely - which can only be a good thing!

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This was obviously a speculator/flipper. I have little sympathy.

I do believe to story. I was told exactly the same thing by an estate agent in 2007. All I had to do was pay £2000 and sign on the dotted line. Thank feck I found housepricecrash.co.uk before I made the biggest mistake of my lifetime. The opinions of ordinary people on this website have saved me a small fortune. I'm looking forward to getting married, building my own house and having no debt/mortgage.

Thank you everyone for all the help you gave me back then.

In the case you mentioned all you would have lost was the £2,000, and even that is questionable as booking deposits are refundable less the builders reasonable costs. Booking a house through an Estate agent is not a legally binding contract. You cannot be compelled to complete. However if you visit your Solicitor and sign a contract and pay consideration (contract deposit) then that is a completely different thing.

BB, you sold your house at the height of the boom. I'm sure you entered into a binding contract with that person. Up until that point the other person could have walked away, and so could you. You would have known that once you signed the contract you were committed to the sale. You couldn't have taken a higher bid and sold it to someone else (not that you would)

I'm sure, going through this process you would have been aware of what you were doing and only signed the contract if it was your intention to sell. I feel sorry for this guy, but he has bought and sold before. He is an experienced investor. I simply don't believe that he didn't realise that signing a contract was binding. I don't believe him, and in any case ignorance is no defence.

You got out at the top, you were fortunate, and clever to stay out at that time. You were one of the lucky few and fair play to you. Whilst it was an innocent transaction you, like me have to accept that (some, in my case) of the people we done business with have ended up in negative equity. I have equally purchased land, which is now in a similar state. Whilst we, like you didn't buy at (or anything near)peak prices I take no real joy in it as we did, like you sell at peak. In our case it was almost 100% investors as owner occupiers were priced out, particularly in the last 6 mths of the boom. But they are still people who now have to deal with those purchases.

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Phone records trawled in flats case

Phone and work records have been trawled through as part of a case brought by a man suing his former solicitor over deals to purchase apartments in three luxury developments.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

TAGS: COURTS LOCAL NEWS

Trevor Scott, 37, from Milford Mews, Dunmurry claims he received insufficient advice of the possible consequences of failing to complete on deals for the flats.

The IT manager has since reached settlements with the developers of Belfast apartments at Woodlands Manor, Stockman's Way, The Bakery on Ormeau Road, and another at Custom House Square.

However, he has now brought a lawsuit against Moira-based solicitor John Irwin over the money he says he was forced to hand out to resolve the actions against him.

At the centre of the case is a dispute over the amount of advise he received before signing up to buy properties whose values then dipped with the crash in the housing market.

Mr Scott has claimed meetings with Mr Irwin in 2007 in connection with the purchases did not last as long as he expected.

With the length of these encounters a key issue, lawyers at the High Court went through Mr Scott's phone records for the relevant dates in detail.

They also focused on his BT access records, which would have monitored where he was and his movements on those specific dates.

Mr Irwin, who is defending the claim, is due to give evidence later this week.

My link

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your Trevor Scott and i claim my £5 (well 5p based on getting a penny in the pound from the receivers)

I wonder will any of the speculators have the bottle to sue Helen or the BT, a lot of the 2005 -2007'ish articles looked like financial advice imho.

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In the case you mentioned all you would have lost was the £2,000, and even that is questionable as booking deposits are refundable less the builders reasonable costs. Booking a house through an Estate agent is not a legally binding contract. You cannot be compelled to complete. However if you visit your Solicitor and sign a contract and pay consideration (contract deposit) then that is a completely different thing.

Thanks for clearing that up.

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I feel sorry for the guy. Unlike some on here I get no perverse pleasure in watching someones finanical future ruined by property. I was nearly caught out buying a property a few years ago when I was niave. Luckily it fell through for me.

Him and people like him helped to price people like you out of the property market. People like him are the reason why ordinary people, wanting a home to live in, have to take on big amounts of mortgage debt just to afford ex-council houses. I find it ironic that you feel sorry for him.

This person was not buying property to live in. He was an investor, speculator, gambler. This time he gambled and lost. I am an investor. If I invest in the stock market and lose money would you feel sorry for me? If I invest in commodities and lose money would you feel sorry for me? If I bet on the racey horseys and lose money would you feel sorry for me? I don't think so! Yet if I lose money speculating on property you would feel sorry for me! Why?

Edited by Belfast Boy
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these comments are sad and the people writing them also

lets try to write something happy about the housing market

and its buyers

... The housing market is recovering back down to normal levels of affordability. The lower the house prices go, the more spare money house buyers have to spend in the wider economy. Lower house prices are good news for people wanting to buy a house to live in.

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out of all the legal cases and apartment woes I've heard and read about, Custom house and Titanic Q are the worst for over priced rabbit hutches. Can't believe people didn't actually think....

"£200k for a 1 bedroom flat....isn't that a bit much"

Why not? My god it's just mentalist to think that it's a good deal.....

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