There are some rules about this under the Conveyancing and Law of Property Act:
“Auctions of estates when sale deemed without reserve
55 Unless in the particulars or conditions of sale by auction of land it is stated that the land will be sold subject to a reserved price or to a right of the seller to bid, the sale shall be deemed to be without reserve.
Prohibition against seller bidding
56 Upon a sale of land by auction, without reserve, it is not lawful for a seller or for a puffer to bid at the sale, or for the auctioneer to take, knowingly, any bidding from the seller or from a puffer.
When seller may bid
57 Upon a sale of land by auction, subject to a right of the seller to bid, it is lawful for the seller or any one puffer to bid at the auction in such manner as the seller thinks proper.
Seller not authorized to purchase
58 Nothing in sections 55, 56 and 57 authorizes a seller to become the purchaser at the sale.”
- No reserve, unless that is made clear,
- If no reserve, the Seller and a Puffer may not bid,
- If reserve, the Seler and a Puffer may bid,
- Manner of bidding is at Seller’s discretion,
- Seller can only have one Puffer,
- Seller cannot become purchaser,
- Nothing to exclude the Puffer from becoming purchaser.
Also, there is nothing to preclude the successful Puffer from assigning the “purchase” to the next highest bidder.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker