Lowis v Wilson

JurisdictionIreland
Judgment Date01 January 1949
Date01 January 1949
CourtHigh Court
Lowis v. Wilson.
MURIEL LOWIS
Plaintiff
and
JAMES H. WILSON
Defendant.

Vendor and purchaser - Deposit - Conditional agreement - "Subject to the preparation of a formal contract" - Formal contract tendered by vendor - Refusal of purchaser to proceed with sale - No binding contract - Recovery of deposit.

By an agreement of the 12th July, 1948, the purchaser agreed to purchaser certain freehold land from the vendor "subject to the preparation of a formal contract to be prepared" by the vendor's solicitor, and to pay a deposit of £1,500 on tho signing of the agreement and the balance of the purchase money on a specified date. A formal contract was subsequently prepared by the vendor's solicitor and submitted to the purchaser for execution. The purchaser refused to sign it, declined to proceed with the sale, and claimed the return of the deposit.

Held that the agreement was conditional upon the full agreement of the parties being embodied in a formal contract and accordingly was not enforceable.

Held further that the deposit, having been paid without consideration, was recoverable.

Summary Summons.

By a document signed on the 12th July, 1948, the plaintiff, Muriel Lowis, Talbot Lodge, Blackrock, County Dublin, agreed to purchase from the defendant, James H. Wilson, Girley, Kells, County Meath, part of the lands of Girley, containing 76 acres, 2 roods, 30 perches, or thereabouts, statute measure, being the lands the subject of Folio No 6959, County of Meath, held in fee simple subject to the revised annuity of £26, payable to the Irish Land Commission, for the sum of £6,000, together with £5 per cent. auction fees, and to pay a deposit of £1,500 to the auctioneers on the signing of the agreement and the balance of the purchase money on the 1st December, 1948. The document contained a clause stating that "this agreement is subject to the preparation of a formal contract to be prepared by W. O. Armstrong, Solicitor for the vendor, Kells, County Meath:"The defendant agreed to discharge all rent, rates and taxes up to the 1st December, 1948, upon which date possession was to be given to the plaintiff.

At the time of the signing of the said document, the plaintiff paid to the solicitor for the defendant, two sums, £1,500 and £300, respectively, representing the deposit and auction fees. Subsequently, the solicitor for the defendant drafted a formal contract for the sale of the lands and submitted it to the plaintiff for her approval. After...

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5 cases
  • Mulhall v Haren
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 1 January 1981
    ...112. 5 Winn v. Bull (1877) 7 Ch.D. 29. 6 Arnold v. Veale [1979] I.R. 342n. 7 Thompson v. The King [1920] 2 I.R. 365. 8 Lowis v. Wilson [1949] I.R. 347. 9 Hibernian Transport Cos. Ltd., In re [1972] I.R. 190. 10 Santa Fé Land Co. Ltd. v. Forrestal Land Co. Ltd. (1910) 26 T.L.R. 534. 11 Coope......
  • Boyle v Lee
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1992
    ...2 W.L.R. 994; [1973] 2 All E.R. 437; (1973) 117 S.J. 305. Law v. Roberts (R) & Co. (Ireland) Ltd. [1964] I.R. 292. Lowis v. Wilson [1949] I.R. 347. Michael Richards Properties v. St. Saviour's [1975] 3 All E.R. 416. Mulhall v. Haren [1981] I.R. 364. Pimms Ltd. v. Tallow Chandlers Co. [1964]......
  • Lee and Another v Lee and Others
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 16 February 2024
    ...of the conditional contract is possible so long as there is not an express term to the contrary in the contract. In Lowis v Wilson [1949] I.R. 347 the plaintiff contracted to purchase the defendant's lands ‘subject to contract.’ When the plaintiff declined to proceed with the sale she succe......
  • Re Hibernian Transport Companies Ltd
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • Invalid date
    ...J. :— I agree that the appeal should be dismissed. 1 [1922] 1 I.R. 15. 2 [1944] I.R. 150. 3 [1924] 1 Ch. 97. 4 [1934] 2 K.B. 436. 5 [1949] I.R. 347. 6 [1911] 2 Ch. 7 (1956) 91 I.L.T.R. 12. 8 (1884) 28 Ch.D. 634. 9 See p. 191, ante. 10 See p. 194, ante. ...
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