Suspensive Conditions in the sale of immovable property
A property sale agreement is constituted from the date of signature thereof by both the seller and purchaser. The rights and obligations arising therefrom may, however, be suspended by the inclusion of a suspensive condition (until an uncertain future event occurs). The operation and effect of such a clause must be clearly understood by both parties to avoid unnecessary dire consequences.
An example of a typical suspensive condition would be where a purchaser is required to obtain approval for a loan from a financial institution for a specified amount within a certain time period. If the condition is not fulfilled timeously, the agreement lapses and no claim for damages flows from this. However, if one party has designedly prevented the fulfilment of the condition, the condition could be deemed to be fulfilled (so-called fictional fulfilment) as against that party and the agreement would be enforceable.
It is best to obtain professional legal advice on all aspects of property sale agreements.
Author: Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes