Foxtons Ltd v Thesleff and Another: CA 19 Apr 2005

Estate Agents claimed their commission. They had originally acted as sole agents, but agreed to allow a multiple agency. Contracts were exchanged, but the vendor refused to complete. The vendor claimed that the variation left the agent’s contract ineffective, and that since at common law an estate agent becomes payable only on completion, no commission was due.
Held: The agent’s appeal succeeded. The contract clearly provided for this situation. The common law provision was overriden by terms in the contract that the commission was payable on exchange of contracts. The word ‘purchaser’ in the Regulations is not limited to a person to whom a fee simple absolute in possession is actually transferred, but also, as is natural in common parlance, to a person who contracts unconditionally to purchase the fee simple.


May LJ, Rix LJ, Jacob LJ


[2005] EWCA Civ 514, Times 17-May-2005, [2005] 2 EGLR 29




The Estate Agents (Provision of Information) Regulations 1991


England and Wales


CitedMidgley Estates v Hand CA 1952
An estate agent’s commission is normally payable upon completion of the sale, but that does not prevent parties from agreeing that it should be payable upon a different event. The question depends on the construction of the particular contract.
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contract, Agency

Updated: 30 June 2022; Ref: scu.224905