Faced with inconsistent drafting, the courts will look at the language used in various part of a contract to save it from rescission, but this will not always be possible. James Naylor reports

In times when there are more and more purchasers failing to complete the purchase of properties, one recent case provides a timely reminder that loose and inconsistent drafting of property sale contracts can leave a vendor red-faced when seeking to rescind the contract following service and expiry of a notice to complete.

In Chinnock v (1) Mustafa Hocaoglu (2) Vasfiya Hocaoglu [2008] EWCA Civ 1175, the Court of Appeal analysed the meaning of the contractual provisions in a residential sale contract.

The vendor and the purchaser had entered into a contract for the purchase of freehold property. The purchase price was £120,000, with a 10 per cent deposit paid on exchange. Completion was set for 12 February 2007, but d...

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