In the High Court last week, judgment was entered against a property developer Ian Cahill for the sum of €969,986 for his failure to proceed with the purchase of the historic Loftus Hall at Hook Head, County Wexford.

In what Mr. Justice Kearns described as a “great personal tragedy” arising from the Celtic Tiger, Mr. Cahill agreed to purchase the property for €1.7million and paid a deposit of €170,000 but after the collapse of the property market was unable to complete the deal.  The historic house eventually sold for around €600,000 and the Vendor was therefore at a loss of the price she had agreed in 2008 and it was this the case concerned.

Mr. Justice Kearns said that the law was completely clear in such matters and while he did not award any interest he had to award judgment against him.

Niamh Moran solicitor at Carmody Moran said the above case was a sobering tale of what implications the crash has had for individuals the victim of circumstance.

She went on to say that in general terms breach of a contract is a serious matter.  The General Law Society conditions of sale used in land transactions provide that once a contract is not entered into, there are serious penalties for non completion after service of a Completion Notice.

She cautioned that purchasers at auction need to be particularly aware that once they execute a contract they are bound to complete irrespective of any change in their financial circumstance or problems that later come to light because they haven’t first investigated title with a solicitor before purchasing at auction.

She also said that the penalties under a contract for breach of contract can include in addition to the loss of a deposit, damages for the breach of contract for the difference between the agreed sale price and what the property actually later sells for if a transaction falls through post contract.

For further advice on breach of contract actions or if you simply wish to have a title check completed before purchase at auction as referred to above, please feel free to telephone Carmody Moran solicitors at 01 827 2888.  Please note in auction matters instructions cannot be accepted by Carmody Moran Solicitors by email and the taking of early timely advice is imperative.