Ee v Kakar (1979) 124 SJ 327

Contract law – Formation of contract – Sale of land


The defendant was the vendor of property who agreed and signed a document to sell this property to the plaintiff. The property was empty and the sale of the property was ‘subject to a survey’ which would be carried out by a representative of the buyer. There was no date for completion of the agreement scheduled. Almost two months after the parties had agreed and the process had begun, the defendant vendor wished to repeal the agreement between the parties. The plaintiff brought an action for specific performance and withdrew the requirement that the property was subject to survey before the contract was completed. The defendant claimed that the document that he signed was not binding.


The court had to understand whether the phrase ‘subject to survey’ was clear enough to make the contract effective or would this deem the contract void on the basis that it was uncertain. The court also had to establish whether sufficient consideration was given by the purchaser to complete the contract.


The court held that this was an effective contract on the basis that, on assessment, there was an intention to bind the parties looking at their actions. Moreover, the proper and relevant consideration was given, by way of the cost of the survey to the purchaser. This made the document that was previously signed by the parties binding. Lastly, the court held that the phrase ‘subject to survey’ was clear enough to not be void for uncertainty. On this basis, the plaintiff’s claim was successful.