Is 10% deposit of the purchase price for land the norm in any sale? Could a lesser deposit be paid even if the contract shows that a 10% deposit has been paid? Would a copy of a cheque be proof that a deposit has been paid? At the call over, what do I say exactly? Do I just say that I am opposing the adjournment? Will the call for an adjournment take place at the call over?
1. Yes, ten per cent of the purchase price is the norm for the sale of land. However, in very high priced contracts for sale, a deposit of five per cent is not unusual. If ten per cent is stated on the contract for sale and it is alleged some lesser deposit has been paid, then it raises questions as to what is going on. This is highly irregular. Normally, there would be a course of correspondence between the solicitor for the vendor and the purchaser varying the express terms of the contract containing the deposit clause if this is the case. Accordingly, you should seek some documentary evidence that the amount of the deposit was varied. Additionally, a copy of a cheque, which has been cashed, would be proof a deposit has been paid. However, you need to make sure the cheque has in fact been cashed.
2. Yes, depending on when the application for the adjournment is being made, you simply state that you are opposing it and why. Sometimes this happens at the callover, sometimes when the case is called. Where an adjournment is opposed at callover, then the judge will let it takes its place in the list to hear arguments from each side, if the adjournment application is going to take some time.
Is there any way of finding out whether the cheque was in fact cashed? On the contract sent to me, it clearly states that the sale was for €6,000,000 with a deposit of €600,000 having been paid. However, the cheque was only for €200,000. I never received any correspondence varying the deposit. I have been sent a photocopy of the cheque. It has not been stamped by the bank.
3. Then you need to enter into correspondence to have these issues clarified. Write a letter to the solicitors requesting that these matters be clarified. Exhibit these letters in one of your affidavits so that you ensure that they are replied to and full answers given.
Barrister 17 years experience
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