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NSW Agreed to Sell Homes and Buy Joint Property - Recoup Costs?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Elizabeth, 29 August 2014.

  1. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Active Member

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    We agreed to sell our homes and jointly build a home with a flat so that we could live together and I could care for her. Her home sold before we agreed so I then sold mine and a week after exchange of contracts she withdrew from the deal. We had already placed a deposit on a block of land and accepted a quotation for a home with a flat attached. We have signed a lease for a rental property to accommodate both of us. I am out of pocket through agent costs, stamp duty, legal fees 6 months rent, removals costs etc. to the tune of about $60,000 .... can I recoup these cost from her?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Maybe. Do you have anything in writing?
     
    John R likes this.
  3. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Elizabeth,

    You may be able to enforce, or at least sue for breach of contract, under the principle of part performance. Part performance is when you make an oral agreement that was not later written down and one party goes ahead and partly performs to their detriment in reliance that the contract will be carried through. In such cases, the law may consider it unjust that the party not be compensated for their loss.

    This area is quite tricky, as there is a distinction between acts down in mere preparation and acts constituting part performance. Further, the acts upon which part performance is relied must unequivocally point to an underlying oral contract and cannot also be justified by some other reason. You would most likely need to find representation for this.

    As Rod rightly alluded to, it would be much easier if this agreement was recorded down in writing.
     
    Elizabeth likes this.
  4. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Active Member

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    Yes I do she signed the contract on a piece of land that we were going to purchase together .Contracts have been exchanged now she wants to pull out of the sale. I have sold my home and have exchanged also.. So now I have to rent .
     
  5. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Elizabeth,

    So, both you and your friend signed a formal agreement for sale and purchase of a piece of land, which was cross-signed and exchanged with the seller/developer? Has assignment procedures started?

    A formal sale and purchase agreement is binding and should be enforceable. I suspect the developer would have some issues with your friend wanting to back out?

    If you cannot convince your friend to continue with the agreement or do not succeed in suing for specific performance, then you should be able to get some sort of compensation for loss incurred.

    I do suggest speaking with a lawyer though, perhaps try a community legal centre first, as sale and purchasing of land/property can be tricky.
     

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