This section is from the book "The Law Of Real Property and Other Interests In Land", by Herbert Thorn Dike Tiffany. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise on the Modern Law of Real Property and Other Interests in Land .
The rule that notice to an agent is notice to his principal applies in the case of a purchaser of land acting through an agent, and he may consequently be charged with notice of adverse claims either by the agent's actual knowledge, or by information acquired by the latter sufficient to put him on inquiry.61 The limitations upon the general rule in connection with the time of the acquisition of notice by the agent, and the character of the transaction in connection with which the notice is received, are by no means settled, and are properly a matter for consideration in a treatise on agency.
It is held by some courts that notice acquired by the agent before the beginning of the agency is in no case to be imputed to the principal;62 while other courts hold that such notice is to be imputed to the principal, v. Wagg, 27 Okla. 674, 117 Pac. 209.
59. 2 Pomeroy, Eq. Jur. Sec. 608; Kernochan v. Durham, 48 Ohio St. 1, 12 L. R. A. 41, 26 N. E. 982; Ohio River Junction R. Co. v Pennsylvania Co., 222 Pa. St. 573, 72 Atl. 271.
61. Clark v. Fuller, 39 Conn. 238; Smith v. Dunton, 42 Iowa, 48; Russell v. Sweezey, 22 Mich.
235; Hickman v. Green, 123 Mo. 165; Kimmel v. Scott, 34 Neb. 493, 52 N. W. 371; Cowan v. Withrow, 111 N. C. 306, 16 S. E. 397; La Forest v. Downer, 63 Ore. 176, 126 Pac. 995; Bigley v. Jones, 114 Pa. St. 510, 7 Atl. 54; Steinman v. Clinchfield Coal Corporation, 121 Va. 611, 93 S. E. 684.
62. Huffcutt, Agency (2d Ed.) Sec. 144; Houseman v. Girard Mut. Building & Loan Ass'n, 81 Pa St. 256; Kauffman v. Robey, 60 provided the fact of which he has received notice is present in his mind while acting for the principal,63 and provided he is at liberty to disclose it to the principal.64 Notice of a fact to the agent will not in any case bind the principal if the fact is not within the scope of the agency.65 Nor is the principal charged with notice if the agent is acting in fraud of the principal, and, to further his own ends, conceals the fact from the principal.66