Tamanna v Zattere; Thakorlal v Zattere; Rabac Pty Ltd v Zattere [2017] NSWSC 1388

The owners of a five acre property proposed to subdivide the lot, and purchasers entered into contracts of sale for those subdivided lots. The sales were conditional on the registration of the plan of sub-division, and the vendors were required to use reasonable endeavours to have it registered by a certain date. The plans were not registered, and the purchasers claimed damages for loss of bargain.

The Supreme Court said that the ‘reasonable endeavours’ required planning and preparation. The purchaser entered into lengthy negotiations with neighbours regarding access to their property, but beyond this took no action aimed at achieving registration. The Court said that this was a breach of the reasonable endeavours obligation under the contract. The Court refused to lower the expectation of reasonable endeavours by reason of the purchaser’s inexperience with property transactions, noting that professional help was available to them at all material times.

Loss of bargain damages were awarded to the purchaser because if there had not been a breach of the obligation to make reasonable endeavours, there was at least a substantial chance that registration would have occurred by the deadline.

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