I'm not sure about the UK... in the US at least, an email agreement is going to be a legally binding contract and you'd be able to sue for damages if a buyer doesn't come through. I'd imagine it's the same for the UK. In the US, you have to pay your own attorneys fees... I'm pretty sure the UK is a loser-pays system which definitely is going to help you out if you have to take this thing all the way through. Even bad lawyers are $xxx/hr here in the states...
Chances are you could pay him for a half hour just to send a demand letter out and scare the other party into making good on the contract.
Honest life advice, though... call up the party before doing anything and get to the heart of why they are flaking or better yet go meet them in person. If that doesn't work, try the attorney demand letter and if that fails move on. If they are flaking because they don't have the cash, you aren't going to be able to squeeze blood from a turnip. Lawsuits are high stress and low reward and your probably better off spending your energy on more productive things...
I have buyers back out all the time. It is very frustrating, but at the same time unless it is a huge sale it is not worth the effort.
This is an awkward one, for as far as I know in traditional English law a letter of intent must leave absolutely no doubt about it's subjects, even going so far as to literally state "This is a letter of intent to buy (or sell)".
Without this I believe most judges would not uphold it, and certainly not an email :/.
Now the opposite is starting to become true, some judges are holding letters of intent to be binding... Letters of Intent can be Legally Binding in Place of a Contract - Steeles Law.
You are far better going to a contract solicitor to get it from the horses mouth on where you stand on this matter as some key features of the letter need to be addressed.
Are emails considered the same as letters sent through the mail? hmmm..
I just had a buyer back out on a sale for $1800 after agreeing to Escrow terms. It is just not worth the potential legal fight unless it is for a large sum of money.
Thanks for the advice guys repped you all!.
It's an interesting one for sure, there are other factors involved like what industry this guy is in, but I can't say too much on here.
Thanks for the advice, it has given me much to ponder!...