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Coronavirus: land and plots contract review

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The impact of the COVID-19 virus and the various government guidelines around working practices are beginning to have a dramatic effect on the housebuilding sector.

We have already received numerous requests from clients to review and advise on the potential implications on site acquisition contracts and plot sale contracts alike.

If you have any concerns about your contracts and/or wish to consider the options available to you (including whether to pull out completely or to renegotiate the terms), please contact our team of experts.  Particular issues we are advising upon include:

Site acquisition

  • Default provisions and rights of termination;
  • Contractual frustration;
  • Option periods and longstop dates for complying with relevant pre-completion conditions- and possible extensions of those periods;
  • the extent of the parties’ planning obligations (both in respect of the level of endeavours- required and timescales for complying with said obligations);
  • the extent of the parties’ works obligations and procuring of works agreements (again in- respect of both endeavours required and timescales);
  • Deferred payments;
  • Impact of legal charges;
  • Price determination provisions; and 
  • Possible impact of force majeure and any good faith provisions.

Plot sale contracts

  • Effects of delay in the completion programme on anticipated completion dates and longstop dates;
  • Possible enforcement action/relief in the event of purchaser default;
  • Possible grounds for arguing contractual frustration; and
  • Statutory relief from the forfeiture of deposits pursuant to s.49(2) Law of Property Act 1925.

We have a wealth of experience at Gateley in respect of all of these matters, so please contact any one of the contacts below if you need urgent advice and we will be happy to assist.

Gateley Plc is authorised and regulated by the SRA (Solicitors' Regulation Authority). Please visit the SRA website for details of the professional conduct rules which Gateley Legal must comply with.