Legality of property agent email correspondence

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StevePIraq
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Re: Legality of email correspondence

Post by StevePIraq » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:40 pm

Dannie,
I know off topic about email, but did you sign a contract with the property agent, if not I doubt anything could be enforced as they are doing it at their own risk. Verbal agreements may be enforceable in some jurisdictions but do you really think the agent will go to the substantial cost of starting legal actions when there is a possibility he could lose.

I recently went through a very serious issue of defamation here, it never got to court. I was accused of saying some thing and I just kept denying and telling them to prove it. In the end they knew they would not win in court so they backed down, but it did go on for some time and was very worrying.

I have still not found a lawyer in HH who will go into litigation, they are all sh.. scared of going to court. If anyone knows of a lawyer who will litigate I would really appreciate a PM with their details.

Sorry for hijacking your thread.
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Re: Legality of email correspondence

Post by Dannie Boy » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:42 pm

StevePIraq wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:40 pm
Dannie,
I know off topic about email, but did you sign a contract with the property agent, if not I doubt anything could be enforced as they are doing it at their own risk. Verbal agreements may be enforceable in some jurisdictions but do you really think the agent will go to the substantial cost of starting legal actions when there is a possibility he could lose.

I recently went through a very serious issue of defamation here, it never got to court. I was accused of saying some thing and I just kept denying and telling them to prove it. In the end they knew they would not win in court so they backed down, but it did go on for some time and was very worrying.

I have still not found a lawyer in HH who will go into litigation, they are all sh.. scared of going to court. If anyone knows of a lawyer who will litigate I would really appreciate a PM with their details.

Sorry for hijacking your thread.
No problem Steve, it’s all about seeking help and getting answers. With regards to your opening sentence, no I never signed anything it was just email exchanges. When he said the buyer didn’t want to pay a deposit, although I didn’t say that the deal was off, I just said we will discuss when I return to Thailand and that’s where we are at just now.

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Re: Legality of email correspondence

Post by 404cameljockey » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:16 pm

If you want a gloves off lawyer I think you really have to look at Bangkok. I was involved in a group litigation a while back against a failed business (business failed, the money disappeared) and the British lawyer we used was very thorough and I believe prosecuted the case to the fullest extent although you can guess the outcome.

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Re: Legality of property agent email correspondence

Post by stumorelli » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:31 pm

If no formal contracts were ever signed there is no legal contract in place, the email trail is not binding and would be considered in law as an invite to treat and are in no way a formal contract. As many have stated already if the agent is threatening the idea of legal action do not worry too much and call his/her bluff. As far as the buyer paying fees that is not your concern. So try to relax as there is nothing to worry about.

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Re: Legality of property agent email correspondence

Post by HHTel » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:23 pm

Sorry, but a contract by email if agreed by email or any other electronic means, is binding both here and in the UK. I would guess other countries are similar. In Thailand there is the Electronic Transactions Act to cover such eventualities. Both here and in the UK, a contract must be clearly agreed and evidence to show that. Signed contracts are of course preferred but the absence of one does not make the email contract any less legal.

I have said in this case, leave it alone and it will probably go away. It would need the other party to go to court and that costs money with no guarantee of the outcome.

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Re: Legality of property agent email correspondence

Post by Dannie Boy » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:27 am

I think the threat of legal action has gone away, so it doesn’t look as though there will be any major issues to resolve. I did look into the Electronic Transactions Act and couldn’t really work out whether a series of informal email exchanges would constitute a “legally binding contract” or not - I can understand that had it been more formal, the risk would have been greater, but as mentioned in my opening sentence, the threat has gone away, so I will hopefully never find out. Thanks for all the advice.

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Re: Legality of property agent email correspondence

Post by 404cameljockey » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:07 am

In the UK once the essential terms have been agreed there is a firm contract, even if some smaller detail has been overlooked or a mistake has been made in the less important terms. Even verbal agreement is binding if both parties can be shown to have agreed. I don't know if that applies in Thailand, maybe HHTel does.

I would suggest a lot depends on how 'informal' the exchange of emails was, and what contract terms (price, property location and details for a start) were agreed at the time.

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Re: Legality of property agent email correspondence

Post by dundrillin » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:04 pm

404cameljockey wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:07 am
In the UK once the essential terms have been agreed there is a firm contract, even if some smaller detail has been overlooked or a mistake has been made in the less important terms. Even verbal agreement is binding if both parties can be shown to have agreed. I don't know if that applies in Thailand, maybe HHTel does.

I would suggest a lot depends on how 'informal' the exchange of emails was, and what contract terms (price, property location and details for a start) were agreed at the time.
That would be the case in Scotland. But I'm not sure about England - too many instances of sales falling through due to breaks in the chain and of course gazumpting.

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Re: Legality of property agent email correspondence

Post by 404cameljockey » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:12 pm

dundrillin wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:04 pm
404cameljockey wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:07 am
In the UK once the essential terms have been agreed there is a firm contract, even if some smaller detail has been overlooked or a mistake has been made in the less important terms. Even verbal agreement is binding if both parties can be shown to have agreed. I don't know if that applies in Thailand, maybe HHTel does.

I would suggest a lot depends on how 'informal' the exchange of emails was, and what contract terms (price, property location and details for a start) were agreed at the time.
That would be the case in Scotland. But I'm not sure about England - too many instances of sales falling through due to breaks in the chain and of course gazumpting.
You are in fact correct, I am mistakenly referring to commercial law, sorry. The system for buying and selling property is disappointingly as you say, there is no binding obligation until contracts have been exchanged. I think it's true also in the USA.

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Re: Legality of property agent email correspondence

Post by HHTel » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:15 pm

My first wife was Scottish and the laws governing the buying and selling a property in Scotland is very different from the rest of the UK. The biggest difference is that there are no chains. Once a sale has been agreed, there is a given time to complete.

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Re: Legality of property agent email correspondence

Post by stumorelli » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:41 pm

HHTel wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:23 pm
Sorry, but a contract by email if agreed by email or any other electronic means, is binding both here and in the UK. I would guess other countries are similar. In Thailand there is the Electronic Transactions Act to cover such eventualities. Both here and in the UK, a contract must be clearly agreed and evidence to show that. Signed contracts are of course preferred but the absence of one does not make the email contract any less legal.

I have said in this case, leave it alone and it will probably go away. It would need the other party to go to court and that costs money with no guarantee of the outcome.
HHTel

You are quite correct but unless I am wrong the OP did not state that an electronic contract had been drawn up, maybe he could confirm if a formal sales contract was actually created and agreed or if it was just standard emails back and forward to agent.

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Re: Legality of property agent email correspondence

Post by Dannie Boy » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:46 pm

stumorelli wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:41 pm
HHTel wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:23 pm
Sorry, but a contract by email if agreed by email or any other electronic means, is binding both here and in the UK. I would guess other countries are similar. In Thailand there is the Electronic Transactions Act to cover such eventualities. Both here and in the UK, a contract must be clearly agreed and evidence to show that. Signed contracts are of course preferred but the absence of one does not make the email contract any less legal.

I have said in this case, leave it alone and it will probably go away. It would need the other party to go to court and that costs money with no guarantee of the outcome.
HHTel

You are quite correct but unless I am wrong the OP did not state that an electronic contract had been drawn up, maybe he could confirm if a formal sales contract was actually created and agreed or if it was just standard emails back and forward to agent.
I did mention a few posts above that it had just been an exchange of emails between myself and the Agent who had found a buyer, nothing remotely like a contract. However as I also mentioned, the threat of legal action has now gone away so I’m sure there will be no further repercussions.
:cheers:

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