Caveat Emptor in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Bell v Lever Bros Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 15 December 1931

    They can be supported on the ground that it is of paramount importance that contracts should be observed: and that if parties honestly comply with the essentials of the formation of contratcs, i.e., agree in the same terms on the same subject matter, they are bound: and must rely on the stipulations of the contract for protection from the effect of facts unknown to them.

    There are certain contracts expressed by the law to be contracts of the utmost good faith where material facts must be disclosed; if not the contract is voidable. Apart from special fiduciary relationships contracts for partnership and contracts of insurance are the leading instances. In such cases the duty does not arise out of contract; the duty of a person proposing an insurance arises before a contract is made; so of an intending partner.

  • Ing Bank NV v Ros Roca SA
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 31 March 2011

    Outside the insurance context, there is no obligation in general to bring difficulties and defects to the attention of a contract partner or prospective contract partner. Caveat emptor reflects a basic facet of English commercial law (the growth of consumer law has been moving in a different direction). In such circumstances, silence is golden, for where there is no obligation to speak, silence gives no hostages to fortune.

  • Harlingdon and Leinster Enterprises Ltd v Christopher Hull Fine Art Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 15 December 1989

    All this is a matter of common knowledge amongst dealers in the art market and, I would expect, amongst all but the most inexperienced or naive of collectors. It means that almost any attribution to a recognised artist, especially of a picture whose provenance is unknown, may be arguable.

    Understandably enough, the judge was not satisfied on Mr. Joll's evidence that there was any usage or custom in the London art market which would exclude the application of the material provisions of the 1979 Act. But he did, I think, accept it as showing that many dealers habitually deal with each other on the principle caveat emptor.

  • Conlon v Simms
    • Chancery Division
    • 09 March 2006

    But there is authority, including very strong persuasive authority, for the existence of such a duty.

  • Taylor v Hamer
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 31 July 2002

    In everyday house purchases people are entitled to be confident that, unless some different agreement is reached and recorded, the property which is to pass includes its fixtures. If before the sale takes place the seller has given the buyer no reason to think that the fixtures (at least those the buyer knows of) are not part of the premises for which an offer is being invited, simple morality says that he cannot remove them without telling the buyer that they are no longer for sale.

See all results
Books & Journal Articles
See all results
Law Firm Commentaries
See all results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT