Horse sales and prices have boomed over the last three years. Unfortunately, a direct result of the increased market is an increase in disputes relating to horses being mis-sold.

If you have been mis-sold a horse or a seller is facing a misrepresentation claim the first thing to consider is whether the horse was sold privately or commercially.

If a horse is sold privately, the principle of caveat emptor or “buyer beware” applies. This means that there is more of an onus on the purchaser to carefully consider every aspect of the purchase.

When purchasing a horse privately, the rights under the Consumer Right Act 2015 do not apply. Therefor the buyer has a limited level of protection. When buying a horse privately, the buyer should ensure that they retain a description of the horse, make their intentions with the horse clear and ask the seller as many questions as possible. To maximise the buyer’s protection they should, where possible, record communications regarding the buyer’s intention with the horse, along with any questions asked of the seller and their answers, in writing. Equally, private sellers should ensure that they provide an accurate description of the horse that is open and honest, answer all questions truthfully and ensure they have the legal right to sell the horse.

Unfortunately, it is common for false representations to be given in an advertisement of a horse. If such a statement, known as a misrepresentation, induces the buyer into entering into the contract then the buyer may be able to seek a refund for the horse.

When purchasing from a commercial seller, buyers have increased protection under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 such as: the horse should be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.

When a horse is purchased from a commercial seller, the buyer has a right to reject the horse and demand a refund if the horse is either not; of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose or as initially described. After exercising this right, the buyer must provide a full refund. Alternatively they can offer a repair or replacement if possible and if the buyer agrees. However, after the first 30 days following the purchase the buyer’s rights become more limited as it becomes more difficult to demonstrate that issues with the horse occurred before purchase and has not developed during the buyers ownership.

Therefore, when considering returning a horse bought from either a commercial seller or private seller a buyer should act as quickly as possible. Equally, if a seller is facing a misrepresentation claim they should act quickly and seek legal advice on their position.

If you believe you have been mis-sold a horse, or if you are a seller facing a misrepresentation claim and wish to contact an equine specialist at Farleys please call the team today on 0845 287 0939 or get in touch by email or through the online chat below