Homeowner Left With £520k Court Bill After Refusing To Pay Estate Agent Commission

A homeowner has been left with a £520,000 court bill after losing a legal battle over the sale of her £10.3m mansion in Regent’s Park, central London.

Tiggy Butler took estate agency Rokstone to court over the sale of her home in Chester Terrace to a Saudi Arabian tycoon in February 2021.

She claimed to have been left £1.75m out of pocket in the deal for the Corinthian-style 18th century house, which overlooks Regent’s Park.

However, Rokstone, headed up by Becky Fatemi, defended itself against her claims and insisted Butler has failed to pay £318,000 in commission owed.

At the county court in London this week, Judge Alan Johns dismissed Butler’s case and ordered her to hand over the unpaid commission together with £210,000 up front towards the estate agent’s legal bills.

The judge rejected suggestions Rokstone could be held responsible for the difference between the original and final sale price, and dismissed a claim of negligence over alleged missed sale opportunities including contact with a wealthy vendor Ms Butler claimed would have bought her property.

The judge said: “Ms Butler says that if Rokstone had not failed in these respects she would have achieved a better sale price.”

There was no “failure to exercise reasonable skill and care”, he added.

Judge Johns found that Rokstone did fail to pass on an £11m offer promptly to Butler in January 2020, but noted that the deal was discussed with her soon afterwards and “was not acceptable to her”.

This meant that “no loss” was caused by the estate agents’ actions, the court heard.

The original asking price for Butler’s town house was fixed at £14.5m in 2016, but was reduced after other agents failed to sell the property for several years.

Reacting to the ruling, lawyers for Rokstone called it a “complete vindication” and said Butler is also now liable for “full costs” of the legal battle.

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