Take Care When Crashing Contracts

Posted on May 1, 2007 by | 0 Comments

Tim O'Dwyer M.B., LL.Bby Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Queensland Solicitor & Consumer Advocate watchdog@argonautlegal.com.au

Three recent Court decisions highlight the need for conveyancing solicitors to take great care if a client wants to cancel a contract on the ground of the other party’s “repudiation” or “anticipatory breach”. Anyone wanting to back out of a contract on this basis must ensure firstly, that the other party’s conduct actually amounts to repudiation or anticipatory breach and, secondly, that you have met your own contractual obligations.

‘Repudiation’, by the way, occurs when someone is not ready or willing to settle a contract, while an ‘anticipatory breach’ is a form of repudiation where someone signals unreadiness or unwillingness some time before settlement.

Because sellers as well as buyers occasionally suffer “buyers’ remorse”, solicitors must always be prepared to give prompt and sound advice to clients who might be keen to crash a contract if a “repudiatory opportunity” – to coin a phrase – should present itself.

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