Laird v Pim and Another: 18 Jan 1841

Where a party has been let into possession of lands under a contract of purchase, but does not complete the purchase, and refuses to pay the purchase-money, and no conveyance is executed, the vendors cannot recover from him the whole amount of the purchase-money, but only the damages actually sustained by his breach of contract. – In assumpsit by the vendor against the purchasers of land, the declaration stated, that in consideration of the plaintiff’s selling to the defendants certain land to be paid for as soon as the conveyance should be completed, the defendants promised to purchase and pay for the same. Averment, that although the plaintiff had allowed the defendant to enter into possession of the lands, and had always been ready and willing to make a good title, and offered the defendants to execute a conveyance, and would have tendered a proper conveyance, but that the defendants discharged him from so doing ; yet the defendants did not regard their said promise, and did not pay the plaintiff the purchase-money, or any part thereof. Plea, that no conveyance had ever been made or executed to the defendants. Held, on general demurrer, that the plea was bad, and the declaration good. Quaere, whether, the declaration would have been sufficient on a special demurrer.
Parke B said that the plaintiff was ‘substantially in the same situation, for the purpose of recovering the money, as if all had been done on his part which he engaged to do. It does not follow that he shall recover the whole purchase-money, but he is in the same situation for the purpose of recovering damages for the non-payment of the price, as if all had been done by him.’


Parke B


[1841] EngR 237, (1841) 7 M and W 474, (1841) 151 ER 852




England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedHooper and Another v Oates CA 20-Feb-2013
The parties had agreed for the purchase of land, but the buyer, Mr Oates, failed to complete. A notice to complete was served, and on non-compliance, the repudiation was accepted. It proved difficult to resell, and they suffered substantial losses. . .
CitedPST Energy 7 Shipping Llc and Another v OW Bunker Malta Ltd and Another SC 11-May-2016
Parties had entered into a bunker supply contract which contained a retention of title clause in favour of the supplier. It purported to allow the buyer to use the goods before title came to be passed.
Held: The owner’s appeal failed. It did . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Contract

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.308415