Sale by agent and purchaser in occupation pending completion

Authority to act as agent for the sale of land does not need to be in writing.

In Yuen Lai Tui v All occupiers of ground floor of building on Lot No 2352 ([2006] HKEC 2116) the plaintiff was the administratrix of her deceased husband’s estate. The estate included two neighbouring houses in a village in the New Territories. The defendant occupied the ground floor of one of the houses and the plaintiff sought possession. The judge found that the ground floor property had been sold to the defendant. He had paid most but not all of the purchase price. The sale had been agreed by an agent acting for the deceased owner and there was no need for this authority to be in writing. The plaintiff was ordered to complete the sale to the defendant (who was willing to pay the balance of the purchase price).

The house had been built under the Small House Procedure and the Court explained the conveyancing steps necessary in such cases. The parties were at liberty to apply for a new order if the necessary certificates for a sale could not be obtained.


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