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WELLS v DIVANI

Construction Law Reporter

WELLS v DIVANI

Estate agent - No agreement as to time when commission payable - Whether contract concluded - Section 18 of the Estate Agents Act 1979

The appellant undertook a development of a number of flats and instructed a local estate agency to market the properties. Most of the flats did not sell immediately and so contact was made with the respondent, who was also an estate agent. Following a conversation between the appellant and the respondent, the remaining flats were sold to a housing association. The respondent was responsible for introducing the housing association and it sought to recover its commission from the appellant. The trial judge held that the parties had entered into a legally binding contract and that the respondent was entitled to recover a fee from the appellant, albeit that fee was reduced under section 18 of the Estate Agents Act 1979 because of the respondent’s failure to comply with the requirements of that Act. The appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal which, by a majority, allowed the appeal.

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