Q&As

Can the buyer rely on what was agreed in correspondence prior to exchange and request the money back from the seller which is not reflected in the contract?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 06/10/2016

The following Property Q&A produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can the buyer rely on what was agreed in correspondence prior to exchange and request the money back from the seller which is not reflected in the contract?
  • Case study

Can the buyer rely on what was agreed in correspondence prior to exchange and request the money back from the seller which is not reflected in the contract?

Case study

A contract incorporates the Standard Conditions of Sale (5th Edition). The parties had agreed in correspondence prior to exchange that the seller would pay the cost of an indemnity insurance policy but this is not reflected in the contract.

The Standard Conditions of Sale are produced by the Law Society and are intended primarily for use in residential sales and sale of small business premises. Although not obliged to incorporate the standard conditions of sale, most solicitors make use of them. Usually the standard conditions would cover issues such as who is responsible for insurance. See: Contracts for the sale of land—overview.

One option for the buyer in this scenario is to seek rectification of the contract. This is an equitable remedy which allows parties to correct a document so that it reflects the parties’ contractual intentions. The remedy is designed to correct mistakes that occur when recording agreements. The mistake could be a common mistake, where both parties believe the document will give effect to a common intention only to discover that it does not, or it could be a unilateral mistake where one party makes a mistake that is known to the other party. If a

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