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MATCHMOVE LTD v DOWDING & ANOTHER

Construction Law Reporter

MATCHMOVE LTD v DOWDING & ANOTHER

Formalities for the sale of land - Section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 - Constructive trust

The claimants, Mr Dowding and Ms Church, entered into an oral agreement with the defendant, Matchmove Ltd, to purchase a building plot and a ten-acre meadow for £200,000, of which £120,000 was payable in respect of the building plot and £80,000 for the meadow. The parties subsequently entered into a written contract for the purchase of the building plot. The meadow was not at that time included in the written contract because of a dispute with a third party in relation to a right of way over the meadow. The claimants paid the defendant £80,000 in respect of the meadow but no written contract was concluded between the parties in respect of the meadow before the parties fell out. The defendant stated that the claimants could have half of the meadow and sent to the claimants a cheque for £40,000, which the claimants did not cash. The claimants sought a declaration that the defendant held the meadow on trust for them but the defendant relied on section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 to support its submission that no binding agreement had been concluded for the sale of the meadow.

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