Conditional & Unconditional Contracts

Solicitors in Essex & London


Conditional Contracts

Conditional contracts are often used by developers to acquire land to ensure they are not committed to buying the land until they have certainty on particular matters. Conditions are placed into the sale and purchase contracts; only once these conditions have been satisfied will the contract become unconditional and fully binding.  The conditions placed in contracts vary in each transaction and will very much depend on what has been negotiated between the parties. Conditional contracts can be a complex area of law – our land development solicitors in Essex and London are well versed in the drafting of these types of agreements and can assist further.

Developers will commonly want planning conditions incorporated so they only have to buy the land once they know that they can obtain their desired planning permission for their proposed development. The contract will specify who will apply for the permission, the timescale in which they must make the application, disclosure of information to the other party, what will be considered satisfactory in terms of planning and what will be considered onerous, as well as dealing with the appeals and judicial review procedures.

Other common conditions include site survey and soil condition; namely the developer only proceeds to purchase the land once soil condition has been tested and site survey carried out.  Developers use such conditions as test and survey results may reveal that further expenditure is required on the site than they originally expected; for example, if remediation works are required.  If the contract is conditional on the results being satisfactory then they know they are not obliged to proceed with the purchase until any “unknowns” become “known”.

Conditional contracts can be notoriously lengthy and detailed; our team of expert land development solicitors will draft the contracts on your behalf to detail:

  • The conditions
  • How those conditions are satisfied
  • The timeframe in which those conditions must be satisfied
  • The process for moving to completion once the conditions are satisfied
  • What happens to the contract if those conditions are not satisfied within the designated timescale

Unconditional Contracts

Also referred to as a planning obligation, a Section 106 agreement is a document which is usually entered into between a developer (or someone with an interest in the land) and the local planning authority. Certain conditions are then set which must be met in relation to the proposed development. This type of agreement is usually a prerequisite to planning being granted.

Our land development legal team have many years of experience in dealing with planning obligations and are able to assist in ensuring that these agreements are legally sound.

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Find out more about our Land Development services

If you are a developer looking at either a conditional or unconditional contract and require further legal advice, please feel free to contact any of our land development solicitors directly. We operate out of five offices across Essex and London, or, if more convenient, we are happy to meet you onsite at your own premises.

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