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Default "side deal" outside of contract - risk?

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  • Default "side deal" outside of contract - risk?

    [also posted in buying property forum]

    We're hoping to complete on our property sale in about 2 weeks time (exchange should be tomorrow). From the beginning we have asked that our buyers complete on day one, but allow us until the end of day 2 to move out (we are moving ourselves). They were fine with this, and we reconfirmed it as part of the negotiations when they asked for some money off the purchase price after the survey was done.

    Their solicitor now says she will not write it in to the contract. The buyers are fine with it, but she flat out refuses to do it.

    Our solicitor suggests our buyers do a side deal with us outside of the contract.

    This sounds risky to me. As a buyer I wouldn't do it, and as a seller I wonder if there are any ramifications to us (ie. if we've not vacated the property by the contract date/time could we be liable for any costs etc. if they decide to change their minds or get nasty for some reason)?

    Is there a better way to handle this situation?

    Also, anyone have any insight as to why their solicitor is so adamant about not adding this clause? I understood that houses are sold with the property being inhabited for days or weeks after completion.


  • #2
    Re: Default "side deal" outside of contract - risk?

    To deal with the last point first: if the buyers are using mortgage finance and it is not a buy-to-let loan, the lender will insist on vacant possession at completion; for the solicitor acting for the lender to ignore that requirement would be career-suicide, frankly.

    If you do a "side deal" and there is no payment or benefit to the buyer for this then, yes, you would be in breach of the main contract and potentially liable to compensate for failing to give vacant possession. It is very much a case of "at your own risk"
    This is based on my experience as a conveyancing solicitor in England, but I do not accept liability for information I give in this forum