Home > Contracts & Law > Breach of Contract

Breach of Contract

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 22 Aug 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Breach Of Contract

Breach of contract basically means that one or more of the terms and conditions laid out in a contract has been broken. Breaching a contract may lead to the contract breaking down completely and can easily lead to legal action and claims for damages in a law court.

Common Breaches of Contract

When any contract is made an agreement is formed between parties to carry out a service and payment for that service. If one of the parties fails to carry out their side of the agreement then the party can be said to be in breach of contract. Breach of contract can also occur if work carried out is defective or if one party makes the other aware that they will not be carrying out the agreed work.

Breaches of contract can also include non payment for a service or not paying on time, failure to deliver services or goods, and being late with services without a reasonable excuse. Terms and conditions are a fundamental part of a legally binding contract and any broken terms can lead to breach of contract.

Types of Breach of Contract

The main types of breach of contract will be minor, material, fundamental, and anticipatory. Minor breaches can be, for example, a builder who substitutes his own type of materials for specified materials. The substituted materials may work just as well as the specified but it can still be seen as a minor breach of contract.

A material breach can be a breach that has serious consequences on the outcome of the contract. A fundamental breach would be one so serious that the contract has to be terminated. An anticipatory breach is one where one of the parties makes it known that they will not be carrying out agreed work, and the consequences can be termination of the contract and damages being sought in court.

Damages for Breach of Contract

Damages can be awarded to an innocent party if a law court upholds that a contract has been breached. Damages will be used to compensate the innocent party for their loss due to the breach. These damages are usually a remuneration that will reflect the loss. For example, if an employer dismissed an employee unfairly then the employee could claim damages for loss of earnings under breach of contract. Damages can be awarded even if there has been no actual loss, the innocent party will then usually be awarded nominal damages.

Proof of Breach

If a dispute does occur due to breach of contract then the judge will need to decide that a legally binding contract does exist and that it has been breached. In some cases the contract may only be a verbal contract and there may be no actual written evidence that a contract was formed. In such cases a judge will need to go over the terms and conditions of the contract and clarify what actually took place in practice.

Entitlement to damages may be awarded if the innocent party can prove that a breach of contract took place. The innocent party must prove that there was a loss due to the breach and that the nature of the loss would lead to compensation. Remoteness of loss will also be taken into consideration by the courts and may include future loss that could reasonably occur from the contract being broken.

Other Damages due to Breach of Contract

Other losses can include loss of profits, the cost of rectifying the breach and wasted expenditure. If disputes do end up in the law courts then the amount awarded may come down to how much documented proof the claimant has regarding financial loss. This can include actual records and document proof of financial loss due to the breach. However, if there is little proof, damages can still be awarded, this will be down to the judge ascertaining all of the facts of the case and not relying solely on documented proof.

Breaching a contract can be a serious offence and is a very common reason for lawsuits. Anyone considering court action due to breach of contract should seek expert legal advice before proceeding. Court disputes are a lengthy and costly procedure and the legal costs should be weighed up against the likely damages awarded.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi I bought a ground floor flat last year and there is a management company that looks after the buildings and garages we pay an annual fee on top of council tax...the pathway to my back gate has large pots holes and there is a tree extremely close to the building and garages which the management company has known about for last 6 months..they keep saying no money in the pot to get repaired as there are a lot of people who don't pay...iv had a tree surgeon look at the tree and has said no insurance company will pay out for any damages as it's way to close to the buildings and should have been taken down years ago....I'm paying my money...is there any legal way i can go...
Chelsea - 17-Jul-19 @ 12:00 AM
** Late ** in being paid. The QS was either sacked or quit and did not process our December Invoice for £25k.
Mick1980 - 30-Mar-19 @ 12:59 PM
Hi I am a mobile catering business owner. A local company offered me a parking place to keep my vehicle if I rented an office from them which I did for a couple of years under a verbal agreement until they decided they were knocking down the offices. I moved out of the office in August 2017 but was allowed to keep the parking space. We verbally agreed that I could continue parking there and they would arrange different payments for the water and electric I used to keep the vehicle there and plugged in once they had arranged permanent parking after the building work/demolishing was finished. In the last 16months damage has been done to my vehicle on several occasions and still no agreement has been made despite me asking several times. I have not asked the company to cover the cost of the repairs due to the payments not being arranged still and thought it only fair. They are now saying I owe them from June 2017 at the price of the original unit and want it paid by the end of the month. The invoice states it's for the unit that no longer exists and parking. How can they charge me for a non existent building?.... Many thanks
Shelle1582 - 4-Jan-19 @ 3:57 PM
We removed our child from a gymnastics class due to my child being bullied by the coach and owner of the club.She (the coach) is now demanding a "terms" money (over £300) in compensation for taking her out before the next season starts.Can she do this under the circumstances?
nutcracker74 - 28-Dec-18 @ 8:26 PM
Hello, when my husband received his wages yesterday, he was short pay and he checked with the payroll and ' they said the court brought a letter and asked for £185 plus to be paid to them from his wages and they paid the above amount without informing or seek the consent of my husband. Please is that not breach of contact? my husband was so upset and the employer are saying that he should not be. Please advice. Thank you for your time.
Omo - 23-Sep-18 @ 12:19 AM
@DGSH - you would have to apply to court, unfortunately.
EB - 17-Sep-18 @ 11:33 AM
A pony went on loan in Aug 17. The loaner was offered to purchase the pony towards the end of the loan in July 18. However, the loaner is refusing return the pony citing various inaccurate reasons. What do we need to do?
DGSH - 15-Sep-18 @ 10:06 PM
@Maripon - unfortunately, yes, it is tough luck for you. There is little you can do about this.
HanN - 13-Sep-18 @ 11:16 AM
@pat - as long as they give you the deposit back, there's not much you can do.
JojO - 27-Apr-18 @ 10:38 AM
We hired a lighted backdrop and was damaged by wine being spilt on fabric not known by who maybe venue I’m now being threatened with county court. At wedding fayre we signed a agreement form stating only what we were having and how much on date and venue. They never mentioned damages etc I assumed they are covered by their insurance only document I have is a receipt to say I paid cash in full they are trying to make me pay for replacement of whole thing and loss of future weddings how do I stand
Tina - 31-Dec-17 @ 3:16 PM
@Veljibhai - do you have to pay for the terminal? You'd have to ring them and ask for their complaints procedure first and put in a complaint. This will allow them to try to resolve the issue.
HN - 19-Dec-17 @ 10:11 AM
I bought a horse with a 14 day warranty the horse was not suitable for my needs , I contacted seller and was told they didn't have the money but would exchange it or resell it on my behalf . I was not told this I expected my money back .
Terri - 25-Sep-17 @ 1:08 PM
I bought a horse with a 14 day warranty, the horse is not suitable for my requirements, I contacted seller and they have said they will exchange it or resell it on my behalf. I just want my money back
Terri - 25-Sep-17 @ 1:05 PM
@None - if you gave the home-owner a price to do the job, then you have to honour that price, even if it puts you out of pocket.
RogerU - 24-Aug-17 @ 12:36 PM
Thank you for your reply about my issue with the caravan which was dirty on arrival. Before I go to the small claims court. he wanted me to wAit in Butlins whilst he arranged the cleaners to clean it,but I just went home due to the state of the caravan. I have contacted him again and totally refused my money back saying that the cleaners would give me a £20 in compensation due to not cleaning my caravan before I got there. Could you please let me know if I still have s case of getting my money back. Thank you
Mm - 13-Aug-17 @ 4:02 PM
Mm - Your Question:
I paid for a holiday in a caravan privately owned. When I got to the caravan all outside the door was covered in cigarette butts. When I went it was dirty inside ants on the work tops, toilet dirty, floor had cugarette butts and food. I took photos informed the owner he replied that the cleaner was booked but obviously never cleaned it. You just couldn't live in it do I returned the keys to Butlins and went home.I have asked the owner to refund me my money but he has refused and says it's nothing to do with him it's the cleaners fault.Where do I stand to get my money back plus my fuel money back,Please help it's been going on since July.Thankyou

Our Response:
If you cannot claim the money back from the person who hired the caravan to you, then you can take it to the small claims court. If the owner employed the cleaner - it is up to the owner to ensure the cleaner has done a proper job and the caravan is fit for purpose. It is not your responsibility. Therefore, you should be eligible for a refund.
ContractsAndAgreements - 11-Aug-17 @ 12:14 PM
I paid for a holiday in a caravan privately owned. When I got to the caravan all outside the door was covered in cigarette butts. When I went it was dirty inside ants on the work tops, toilet dirty, floor had cugarette butts and food. I took photos informed the owner hereplied that the cleaner was booked but obviously never cleaned it. You just couldn't live in it do I returned the keys to Butlins and went home. I have asked the owner to refund me my money but he has refused and says it's nothing to do with him it's the cleaners fault. Where do I stand to get my money back plus my fuel money back, Please help it's been going on since July. Thankyou
Mm - 11-Aug-17 @ 12:29 AM
Hi I started work for a agency worked for 5 days then was told will take up to 7 days for my crc to come back to get me back into work I said that's fine but it's now been 4 weeks they got the crc but I'm still out of work can I clamefor loss of earning for last 3 week as they have had the crc an the place still needs staff but I'm not working as was told would take no more than 7 days
Boycee - 3-Aug-17 @ 12:48 PM
Bought a fittted kitchen 3 monthsago. Problems started with it straight away. Sinks and taps leaking. Cupboard doors coming off. Plastic strips coming of doors. Frost free freezer has ice at the bottom making it hard to open bottom draw. Then oven is makes a banging sound after it's been on for a 15/20mins. Coupboard doors are not level. Extracted fan pipe has been sellotaped at the top. Called multiple times, and when we fix a date no one turns up. Total cost £8000 Payed £7000
E - 20-Jul-17 @ 11:25 AM
Chrissy - Your Question:
HiIn oct 17 I signed up to my daughter going on a PGL weekend away with her school.I paid the 2nd payment in feb 17.On the 2 march 17 I called the school to ask if all was uptodate and final for her to go.they said yes. 10 june 17 I had a disagreement with the school. Within 1 hr they sent me a text message demand a 3rd payment within 3 hrs or my daughter can not go on PGL. The 3rd and final payment had been due on the 10th march. But they never told me that there was a 3rd payment when I called them on the 2nd march.After looking at the original paperwork. It does say that the trip has 3 payments.They never mentioned this on the 10 june nor did they remind me at any time that there was money outstanding. Me and my daughter have suffered psychlogical stress. Can we claim for damages. Was the school legally obliged to give us a reminder after the 3rd date had passed. Were they entitled to demand money within 3 hrs or no trip?Many thanks in advance for any helpChristine

Our Response:
If the paperwork showed there were three payments due, then the school is under no obligation to remind you verbally also. Your only recourse is to complain directly to the school about the three-hour demand.
ContractsAndAgreements - 14-Jul-17 @ 3:10 PM
Hi In oct 17 i signed up to my daughter going on a PGL weekend away with her school. I paid the 2nd payment in feb 17.On the 2 march 17 i called the school to ask if all was uptodate and final for her to go.they said yes. 10 june 17 i had a disagreement with the school. Within 1 hr they sent me a text message demand a 3rd payment within 3 hrs or my daughter can not go on PGL. The 3rd and final payment had been due on the 10th march. But they never told me that there was a 3rd payment when i called them on the 2nd march. After looking at the original paperwork. It does say that the trip has 3 payments. They never mentioned this on the 10 june nor did they remind me at any time that there was money outstanding. Me and my daughter have suffered psychlogical stress. Can we claim for damages. Was the school legally obliged to give us a reminder after the 3rd date had passed. Were they entitled to demand money within 3 hrs or no trip? Many thanks in advance for any help Christine
Chrissy - 14-Jul-17 @ 1:58 PM
Bought a static caravan on a holiday park.sales agreement and all other paperwork says we purchased a 2010 van. We have now found out it's only a 2009.also the size is incorect and also the chassis number is incorrect .
Morph - 18-Jun-17 @ 8:03 AM
Is there a breach on this situation? Breach of Condition or Warranty? An advertisement from Furniture store shown that there was a 50% discount on thier three seater sofa and will receive a gift which is two-seater sofa. The advertisement did mention subject to availability. Belle brought the advertisement to the shop and asked for the sofa. She need to ask the permission from her husband so she decided to pay RM200 deposit to the staff and the staff accepted the money and promised to hold the sofa for two days. B be notified that the company only have limited two-seater sofa before she paying the deposit. Two days later, she went back to the furniture store but she noticed that the staff forgot to keep the sofa for her and it was out of stock now. The staff argued that the sofa is just a free gift and it is'Subject to availability'.
vanilla - 2-Jun-17 @ 1:25 PM
@Leena - you might get an extra pizza out of it :) Jed
JT - 17-May-17 @ 9:43 AM
Hi, I ordered Pizza from Pizza Hut Online for collection and the confirmation said it should take 30mins. I got a text message confirming my order was being prepared so I made my way to the high street as I had a few shops that I needed to go to. After 45mins I still had not heard anything from Pizza Hut saying my order was ready so I walked to the store to find it was shut! By this point I was really hungry and upset, I called the customer services line and asked them what has happened and they said 'unfortunately, through no fault of their own, they have had to close due to a fault with the extractors', there was no apology and I was disgusted that I was not informed. Terms: "If we cannot accept your order. If we are unable to accept your order, we will inform you of this and will not charge you for the product. This might be because of, amongst other things, unexpected limits on our resources which we could not reasonably plan for, because we have identified an error in the price or description of the Product, due to particular Product not being available or if your local Hut is closed at the time of your order" He then asked me if I wanted a refund (silly question), then he said the refund should take 16 working days to come back to me. I thought Consumer Act stated 14 days and on Pizza Hut terms and conditions it says 14, so they have got it so wrong. Terms: "How we will refund you. We will refund the price you paid for the Products by the method you used for payment. We will make any refunds due to you upon collection of the Products from your local Hut, or if this is not possible for whatever reason, please contact us via our online form and we shall process your refund as soon as is reasonably possible and in any event within 14 days" Considering the first term said that they would not take money, I am finding myself waiting now for nearly 14 days. If they take longer then 14 days to give me my money back is there something I can do? I am so angry at this whole experience!
Leena - 16-May-17 @ 11:18 AM
I am waiting the results of a home survey which at the time of making payment I was told would take 7 working days maximum, Its now day 8 and I've received nothing, no verbal communication or updates as was agreed at the time of payment and getting no joy from numerous phone calls which aren't being returned. I am entitled to e refund?
Jayne - 12-May-17 @ 4:22 PM
HI, need advice about vodafone. they told me i had not paid when isaw it on my statement and called my bank and gave them an authorisation number still i was told i hadnt paid. The blocked my phone and broadband service. i had to complain 3 times to get anything done. have they breached
lindaloo - 11-May-17 @ 8:41 PM
@Justin - she will not be successful if there was a notice on the door saying the offer had been withdrawn.
Mister - 13-Apr-17 @ 11:20 AM
On June 1st, TST Supermarkets advertise the opening of their new Badili branch in the local newspaper, as follows: Grand opening - 8 a.m. July 1st cash reward to our first customer. Serah arrives outside the main entrance to the store at 6 a.m. on July 1st and is the first in the queue. She sees a notice on the entrance door, which states; The management regrets that the office of K100 cash to the first customer has been withdrawn, but will be replaced by a K100 voucher to spend in the store today. When Sarah enters the store at 8 a.m. she asks for her K100 cash, but the manager says she can only have the K100 voucher. Serah is very angry, and leave the store without buying anything. Serah claims she entitled to K100 cash, but TST Supermarkets contend there is no obligation to pay her. Will Serah claim for K100 successful?
Justin - 12-Apr-17 @ 2:24 PM
@Paula - you certainly need to get them back to put this right that's for sure!
JoJo - 10-Apr-17 @ 1:46 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments