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Writing - s2 of 1989 Act

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Contract

This page includes information on various matters relating to property contracts including the following:
  • Agreements by e-mail.

  • Assignment of benefit of consultant's report on sale of land.

  • Correcting mistakes by construction of documents.

  • Contract signed by agent for non-existent company

  • Rights of third parties.

  • Construction of property contracts in commercial context using common sense.

  • Development agreements.

  • Duty of seller to protect interest of the buyer.

  • Interest on purchase price.

  • Mistake.

  • Stakeholders
See also the page on s2 of the 1989 Act.


Agreement by e-mail - guarantees

Metha v J Pereira Fernandes SA
[2006] EWHC 813 (Ch)

Section 4 of the Statute of Frauds provides that
    "no action shall be brought ... whereby to charge the defendant upon any special promise to answer for the debt default or miscarriage of another person ... unless the agreement upon which such action shall be brought or some memorandum or note thereof shall be in writing and signed by the party to be charged therewith or some other person thereunto by him lawfully authorised".
The effect of a non compliance with Section 4 is that the contract is unenforceable.

In this case the defendant Mr Mehta sent an e-mail to the claimant offering a guarantee. The e-mail was not signed by the defendant but was described in the header as having come from "Nelmehta@aol.com". The judge held that the e-mail could have been capable of constituting a sufficient memorandum of the agreement but that the automatic statement in the header of the source of the e-mail was not a sufficient signature. HH Jg Pelling QC at para 27:
    "Thus, as I have already said, if a party or a party's agent sending an e-mail types his or her or his or her principal's name to the extent required or permitted by existing case law in the body of an e mail, then in my view that would be a sufficient signature for the purposes of Section 4. However that is not this case."

Assignment of benefit of consultant's report on sale of land

... THIS IS AN EXTRACT OF THE FULL TEXT. TO GET THE FULL TEXT, SEE BELOW

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