Q&As

A seller has exchanged contracts for the sale of commercial land but fears that the buyer may go into administration before completion. If an administrator or other insolvency practitioner is appointed, will the seller be obliged to complete the contract?

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Published on LexisPSL on 10/03/2017

The following Property Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A seller has exchanged contracts for the sale of commercial land but fears that the buyer may go into administration before completion. If an administrator or other insolvency practitioner is appointed, will the seller be obliged to complete the contract?
  • Failure to complete contract for the sale of land
  • Obligation to perform contracts—insolvency
  • Effect of administration

A seller has exchanged contracts for the sale of commercial land but fears that the buyer may go into administration before completion. If an administrator or other insolvency practitioner is appointed, will the seller be obliged to complete the contract?

Failure to complete contract for the sale of land

Time is generally not of the essence for completion of a contract for the sale of land. If the seller or the buyer delays completion, the defaulting party will be liable in damages (and for compensation under the Standard Conditions) but cannot rescind until time is made of the essence of the contract. It is for the party who is ready, willing and able to complete to make time of the essence by serving a notice to complete.

If a valid notice to complete has been served and completion does not take place by the deadline (usually ten working days after the notice is given, excluding the day on which the notice was given) the defaulting party's breach can be accepted and the contract rescinded.

Specific performance may be available where a purchaser has failed to complete a contract, however this remedy is at the court’s discretion where damages do not afford a complete remedy. See Practice Note: Specific performance.

You may also find useful Practice Note: Notice to complete and Precedent: Notice to complete given by seller or

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