Station Road, Sidcup

How can we help?

Please fill in this form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Please enter your name
Please enter your email address
Please enter your telephone number
Please enter a question
Please let us know how you heard about us
Please enter the verification code

We’ll only use this information to handle your enquiry and we won’t share it with any third parties. For more details see our Privacy Policy

Rushing Into Property Purchase Proves Costly

People often complain about the length of time it takes to complete property deals. However, one Court of Appeal case, in which a contract for sale was signed on the spot after only brief consideration, strikingly shows why property purchase is a serious business which warrants careful deliberation.

A couple attended a 'sales fair' in respect of a large hotel development in which long leases of individual rooms were being marketed. Whilst the woman was looking after their children, the man signed a contract to purchase one of the rooms for £315,000 and paid a £1,000 deposit. Over the following two years, he paid a total of £78,500. However, the sale fell through because he could not raise a mortgage to complete the transaction. The seller retained the sums paid on account.

The couple launched proceedings to recover the money and, finding in their favour, a judge ruled that the contract was invalid. Although the man had purported to sign it on the woman's behalf, he had done so without her explicit or implied authority and she had in fact had no knowledge of the transaction.

In ruling on the seller's challenge to that decision, the Court agreed that the woman had neither agreed to, nor impliedly ratified, the man's conduct in purporting to sign the contract on her behalf. However, in upholding the appeal, the Court found that the contract was binding as against the man. It was expressed to place joint and several obligations on the couple and the man's agreement to execute it was not conditional on the woman likewise signing it.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.