October 31, 2014

Notice to complete – A contract’s teeth

This post was written by: Nick Powe

To ensure parties to a contract for the sale or purchase of property or land complete on the date set in the contract for completion, there is usually a contractual condition covering what happens if either party does not complete on the completion date or by the completion time.

If completion does not take place on the correct date and by the correct time, the party not in breach will have their solicitor serve on the defaulting party’s solicitor a notice to complete, making time of the essence. This is usually 10 working days after service (depending on the contract conditions) and will require the party in breach to pay interest until completion takes place. Depending on contract conditions this may involve other payments on a daily basis until completion takes place.

If the defaulting party pays the amount before the expiry of notice, completion takes place, and the parties move on the date when breach is paid.

If when the notice expires the contract remains uncompleted, then the party not in default may terminate the contract and forfeit the deposit, and claim damages for any losses that may have occurred and which are covered by the contract if the buyer does not complete. However, if the seller does not complete, then the buyer will have to recover their deposit and claim damage flowing from the breach such as abortive costs and the cost of finding alternative property to buy etc.

Your solicitor will have to advise you if a transaction does not proceed after the breach and this may include other remedies such as specific performance and prevent other parties buying in place of the innocent party.

For all your property needs, contact our friendly team of solicitors at Aston Bond on 01753 486 777 or come down to our offices at Windsor Crown House, 7 Windsor Road, Slough, SL1 2DX.


Nick Powe, Senior Property Solicitor