When One Purchaser Signs the Contract for Sale and the Other Does Not … – Radcliffe Chambers

Posted February 21st, 2017 in appeals, contracts, deposits, news, sale of land by sally

‘And indeed never authorised the co-purchaser to enter into a contract on her behalf without her consent, did not know that he was entering into a contract, or consent to his doing so on her behalf. That was the remarkable situation in the case of Rabiu v. Marlbray Ltd [2016] 1 WLR 5147. At first blush one might have thought, in line with the decision in Suleman v. Shahsavari [1998] 1 WLR 1181, that in the absence of the signature of one of the co-purchasers, there was no binding contract and that that would be the end of the matter. So the trial judge concluded, but the Court of Appeal held that on the facts of the case the purchaser who had signed had rendered himself liable as between himself and the vendor of the property, notwithstanding the absence of the signature of his co-purchaser. In so doing it distinguished Suleman. The decision of the Court of Appeal, which runs to 111 paragraphs, considers a number of issues and repays careful study. This casenote will consider the questions of the validity of the contract between the vendor and the copurchaser and the formalities required by s.2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989. A second casenote (to follow) will consider whether, on the assumption that there was no valid contract as between the vendor and the co-purchaser (either because the contract had not been signed by the other co-purchaser, or because of want of the formalities required by s.2), the vendor was required to return the co-purchaser’s deposit or could retain it.’

Part One (PDF)
Part Two (PDF)

Radcliffe Chambers, February 2017

Source: www.radcliffechambers.com