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Violation of agreement to sell : owner is selling land to another person

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate (Lucknow)

Online advising since Oct. 2014

Property

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Question: The owner is selling his land in violation of agreement to sell. How can I stop this and protect the property? I have paid three lakh rupees as the earnest money for purchase of the said land. The owner has executed an agreement to sell. As per the agreement I have to pay the remaining price in two years. I am ready to pay the dues instantly but the owner is refusing. Now I came to know that he is selling his land. Only six months have gone to the execution of an agreement to sell. 

I have eighteen months to obey the agreement and pay the consideration of this land. The act and conduct of the owner is against the terms of agreement. I have told him to give me two days to buy this land but he has refused. He is eager to sell the land because he is getting a better price than me. Please suggest whether I have any remedy? Can I stop him from selling this land?

Question from: Gujarat

The owner cannot sell this land in violation of the agreement to sell. These facts are undisputed in your case and they will form the basis for enforcement of the agreement

  • The owner has received three lakh rupees as earnest money.
  • He has executed an agreement to sell in your favour.
  • The agreement to sell gives you a time period to pay the remaining price. 
  • You have eighteen months to pay the dues.
  • You are ready to pay that amount.
  • As per the agreement to sell the owner will execute the sale deed after receiving the remaining price. 

An agreement to sell confers some right to the vendee (proposed buyer). After the execution of an agreement to sell the vendee can restrict the owner to sell this land to any other person. Such an agreement binds the vendor (owner) to obey his promise made in the agreement to sell. 

Remedy if vendor violates agreement to sell

If the vendor violates the agreement to sell the vendee can file a civil suit for the specific performance of the contract. Specific performance of the contract is an equitable relief provided under the Specific Relief Act 1963. Through it, the vendee can enforce the exact terms of the agreement. He can compel the vendor to sell the land to him.  

You should send a legal notice to the vendor If you have information that he is selling this land to any other person. In the said notice you should inform him that you are ready to buy this land. If he does not respond or refuses to sell the land, then you should file a civil suit under Section 10 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963.

You have fulfilled all the legal requirements for filing a suit for specific performance of the contract. These are the mandatory requirements:

  • A valid and concluded contract (agreement to sell is duly executed by the parties)
  • Plaintiff is ready and willing to perform their part of contract (you are ready to pay the remaining price)
  • The plaintiff has, in fact, performed their part of the contract (you have paid the earnest money).
  • It is equitable to grant the relief of specific performance to the plaintiff against the defendant in relation to the suit property. 
  • The specific performance of the contract will not cause any kind of hardship to the defendant (vendor/owner).

Thus you should file a civil suit for the injunction and specific performance of the contract. You should pray for injunction as an interim relief thereby restricting the owner from transferring this land until order of the court.

shivendra pratap singh advocate

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate (Lucknow)

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