What are my Statutory Rights when Buying at Auction

What is Auction

Is a place where the Seller sells something which may have considerable defects and this might inevitably come to light in a normal transaction. By these means the Seller is hoping that those will not be picked up by the Buyer at an auction, it is therefore necessary to be very careful when buying property  at auction. There may be some other reasons why the Seller wants to sell the property, e.g. there is a need for a fast sale due to cash flow difficulties.

What is my statutory right after the fall of the hammer

The main benefit for the Seller is that on the fall of the hammer contracts are exchanged and you are legally bound to  proceed with the transaction. The Seller has however in certain circumstances the right to avoid the contract. After the fall of the hammer the completion follows  within 14 to 28 days. You must therefore be sure that you have the sufficient funds in place in order to buy the property concerned plus the required deposit. If you did not have them ready this could have a considerable effect on completion and therefore  could cost you even more money. E.g.  Standard Commercial Property Conditions namely condition 9.3 would apply on any default or delay as in a normal commercial transaction.

Standard Commercial Property Conditions

These are conditions which apply to commercial transactions. They can be selected to apply instead of tailor made conditions. They are a set of rules which regulate all aspects of commercial transaction e.g. who pays for the insurance, what happens in case of delay, when are you entitled to compensation, what is  the position on VAT etc.

Auctioneer’s liabilities to purchaser

He may have liability on contract of sale, independent contractual liability, liability as a bailee and liability for misrepresentation, liability arising in relation to breach of warranty of authority and fraud.

Sales which give rise to criminal sanctions

These are misdescribed goods, land, unhallmarked gold, silver, platinum, unsafe and dangerous goods, unroadworthy vehicles, wild birds, animals, fire arms offensive  weapons etc.

If an auctioneer pretends to accept  bids which have not been made, you could  have a claim against him in relation to the deposit and interest upon it.

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For more information on:

  • Types of auction
  • Auctioning a business
  • Property auction