disposition of property - agency

Where an auctioneer sells personal property on behalf of the principal the principal is bound by the auctioneer's actions even if the auctioneer acts outside his authority and title passes to the purchaser. However, the principal may obtain damages against the agent for breach of contract. The real estate agent has a restricted capacity to sell land. The agent can only transfer property on behalf of the principal if the agent has authority under seal such as power of attorney.

Where an agent acts beyond his authority and a bona fide purchaser for value acquires an interest in the land the owner may not authorise the execution of the necessary instruments to allow the land to be transferred into the name of the purchaser.

A managing agent can grant a lease for less than 3 years on behalf of his/her principal. The principal is bound by such a grant whether or not the agent has authorised it. However, a lease for a period greater than 3 years must be granted by the landlord in writing. This would be sufficient to protect the owner where the agent exceeds authority.


lease for years


power of attorney – standard contract