A failure to take legal advice cost a property buyer his £35,000 deposit as he fell foul of the time limits for the purchase. Purchasing property at auction can be legally hazardous as the following case shows.
The Buyer paid the 10 per cent deposit after making the highest bid of £350,000 for the pub at auction. The deadline for completion of the purchase was not met so the seller sent a notice to complete. The buyer did not comply with this so the buyer kept the deposit and rescinded the contract.
In response the buyer lodged a unilateral notice against the pub’s registered title believing that he was able to do so as the contract was not dead and he was able to complete, and wanted to. The buyer contested that the seller had negotiated the transfer of the licence to the buyer and he had failed to do so therefore compromising the completion deadlines.
The seller applied to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) to have the noticed removed from the premise’s title. There was a verbal agreement between the two parties regarding the licence, at a cost of £2,000 plus additional money for the inconvenience. There was nothing in the auction information to make the reassigning of the licence as an essential part of the sale. At no point did either of them take legal advice. No money had been paid in respect of the licence so the FTT stated that as it was a separate agreement it did not compromise the sellers right to enforce the deadline for completion.
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