What to do if you are Owed Money by a Property Investment Company

publication date: Oct 18, 2010
 | 
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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What to do if you are Owed Money by a Property Investment Company


Q. I have given money to a property investment company to source properties but they haven’t, what do I do?

You need to check your terms and conditions and find out what your rights were with regard to paying the money back in the event that the company doesn’t find you a property.

It may be the terms and conditions say they will offer you up to xx number of properties and if you don’t go ahead with any of them, they keep the funds. The terms may say that if they find a property and you go ahead but can’t secure the finance, you’ll get the money back, but if you pull out you forfeit your right to monies being refunded.

If you have anything in writing that contradicts the terms and conditions, you can use that to help secure a refund.

Once you have understood the terms and conditions you need to write to the company, send the letter recorded delivery with a letter that says:-

  1. What your problem is.
  2. What monies you have paid.
  3. What you expected in return for this money.
  4. Why you believe they should give you the money back.
  5. That you would like to come to an amicable settlement within xx number of days.

If they don’t respond, follow the suggestions in the next question, or try to visit the company, find out which networking events they are attending or shows and see them (with all your paperwork) face to face.

Q. My property investment company has taken my money and won’t give it back, what do I do?

There are various ways that you can complain about this:-

  1. You can report them to the Office of Fair Trading; they have a consumer facing website called www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk 
  2. If there is a group of you in the same situation, you can report the company to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk and look for information on ‘Property Fraud’ and check out their fraud prevention library.
  3. If the amount is £5,000 or less, or if it’s slightly above this amount, you might try the Small Claims Court.
  4. You can consult a litigation expert in the legal profession.

To talk and liaise with any of these organisations you will need to prepare a pack for them which includes:-

  1. The terms and conditions you signed.
  2. Written correspondence the company has sent you and you have sent them.
  3. Write down any telephone conversations you have had with the company and a brief summary of what was said during the call.
  4. A one page summary which includes, what the problem is, what you tried to do about it, why the company say they won’t refund the money, what you would like done about it.

Q. How do I take my property investment company to Court?

To do this you will need to go to a litigation specialist and seek their advice and help. This will take approximately 3-6 months and costs can be around £5,000.

For anything under an award of £5,000 you could try the following link:
www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/infoabout/claims/index.htm 

Q. I have taken my property investment company to Court and lost, what do I do now?

In this case you need to find out if other people have taken the company to Court and won.

If they have, then you may be able to secure an Appeal against the original decision based on new evidence.

To find out if anyone else has had problems or won a Court case, visit the Designs on Property Ltd Property Investment Club Forum.

Q. I have taken my property investment company to Court and won, but they aren’t paying up, what do I do now?

In this case you need to go back to the Court who will have instructions of what to do if the defendant lost the case and you were awarded costs but they haven’t paid up.

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