Home > Contracts & Law > Breach of Contract

Breach of Contract

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 21 Apr 2017 | 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]
I have joined a dating site and upgraded to be a member and entered a payment contract.However, once a member I could see that there the site was mainly made out of factious people.I emailed the company about this a few times, some emails I struggled to get through.. I emailed the company again of my dissatisfaction and that I was cancelling my direct debit with immediate effect as they have falsely advertised the site. I have received emails saying that I have entered into a contract and have to pay for 3 months. So I have to uphold my part of the contract, whereas the company does not have to?? where do I stand on this?
becky - 21-Apr-17 @ 2:48 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
Hi had new boiler installed went with this contractor as they said they could go through the eaves in the roof and drop the pipe work down into the loft as we did not want them to go through the new plastered landing took my daughter To work gone 30mins and guess what pipe right through the new plastered wall job should have taken 2 days took 1 day 2 hours the back boiler was not capped off had a massive big leak it's just a shambles not what we disgust is this a breach of contract
Paula - 9-Apr-17 @ 8:02 PM
The story begins on 09.04.2016 when, with hard work, i managed to save 9000 £ to buy my dream car: a chrysler 300c 5.7 hemi engine with only 24000 miles on the dashboard. It is a rare car and chances to find one like this are very low. On 13.04.2016, 5 days after purchase my babe was crushed by a drunk man who passed the red lights with over 70 mph and so i was provided with a REPLACEMENT vehicle. All the hire costs to be paid by the insurance of driver at fault. On 11.05.2016 i recived a letter from Vision vehicle with the evaluation of my car. I DID NOT ACCEPTED!I just paid 9000 £ five days before accident. But what they did next? They sent a cheque in the sum of 6120£ on 16.05.2016 with the notice that they will collect the replacement car in 7 days. The rest of 1850 will be recived in next few days they said. Second payment was recived on 07.07.2016 If one party fails in its obligation it results in a breach of contract. According to the hire contract section C12 this is the moment when they break the agreement and legally the contract become invalid. Section C12: 1- I DID NOT CANCEL THE AGREEMENT 2- MY CAR WASN'T REPAIRED AND RECIVED 3-I DIDN'T REQUESTED THE END OF RENTAL PERIOD 4- NO FRAUD WAS COMMITTED 5- I DID NOT ACCEPTED, I DID NOT RECIVED FINAL TOTAL LOSS PAYMENT According with that they alterate the terms and conditions so the contract become invalid. As i said the sum of 8000£ was never accepted by me. I asked in some conversation with them to return my damaged car and take the money back so i can take my own solicitors to handle the claim. They totally refused that. In all this period i occasionally hired cars to go out in weekends with my family, i asked one and another friend to pick me up or give me a ride, use taxis and buses. I really regret from deep of my heart the day i accepted their car. Only headaches with them. Now what i want is to recover the rest of the money (1000 pounds) and compensation for all the trouble Kind Regards
Theone - 27-Mar-17 @ 10:36 AM
i have a letter before court action served on me from a debt collection agency. The facts: I instructed a developer to cost rationalise a build project.during initial talks and written documentation he advises me his Timber frame company can compete against traditional build and in some cases is more cost effective. he quotes £550-£600k both verbally and written in email, he also staes a general rule of thumb is £110 p sq yd.I signed his agreement to cost rationalise after he tells me he has a cost of £720k but he can get that down to £600K.his costs after 7 months of working with him when i give him a dedline for the bank is £808K (£149 p sq yd) he is suing me for the acceptance contract i signed of £1800 my defence is a) hes in breach of contract b) he misrepresented himself and made false claims that he was unable to provide c) i can claim damages based upon my loss of planning permission (expired early december) the costs involved with the architect as he asked for changes to be made to try to increase the sale value d) the cost of new planning permission i have written evidence of repeatedly asking him for the breakdown of prices & 2 days before the bank dedline he delivered the costs £208K over his anticipated budget i have emails where he states he has the price down from £720K to £690K and that he still has a way to go I have an email before he asks me to sign the updated agreement that he has put a lot of work into this and he will be pricing the work very keenly any advice or expertise would be appreciated before i submit my response this Thursday 23rd February 2017
Paula - 22-Feb-17 @ 3:06 PM
Hi, In May 2016, we booked a band for our wedding through a Live entertainment booking agency. A contract was drawn up and a deposit paid to the Agency. The balance was due to the band on the day of the wedding 28/8/17. This week we had an email from the band to advise there was a new Lead singer. We have seen video's of the new lead singer, and the vocals, dynamics of the band have completely changed. We have spoken with the booking agency who are happy to transfer the deposit to another band, but only 6 months from the wedding now, a lot of the better bands have already been booked on our wedding day and we are left with the stress and possibly more expense to find a replacement band. Do we have a case for Small Claims against this band. The booking agency have advise that we need to take the case to the band, as when the contract was written each band member was committing to the contract??
Badger - 15-Feb-17 @ 5:04 PM
Kayleigh - Your Question:
Hi I need advice please. I booked a children's entertainer 2 weeks ago and paid a deposit of £50. He cancelled with 8 minutes before my little girls party started. He has been ignoring my messages and phone calls up until today where I said I am seeking legal advice. He is saying he will pay me my deposit. I have said to him he is liable to pay for the emergency entertainer that I got with 45 minutes left of the party. He is refuses this and saying he had every right to cancel due to his auntie being in hospital. Can someone please tell me if he is breaches his contract with me?

Our Response:
You would have to read the terms and conditions of your agreement with the entertainer. If there are none, there is little you can do unfortunately.
ContractsAndAgreements - 7-Feb-17 @ 12:15 PM
Hi I need advice please. I booked a children's entertainer 2 weeks ago and paid a deposit of £50. He cancelled with 8 minutes before my little girls party started. He has been ignoring my messages and phone calls up until today where I said I am seeking legal advice. He is saying he will pay me my deposit. I have said to him he is liable to pay for the emergency entertainer that I got with 45 minutes left of the party. He is refuses this and saying he had every right to cancel due to his auntie being in hospital. Can someone please tell me if he is breaches his contract with me?
Kayleigh - 6-Feb-17 @ 6:16 PM
Hi there? I bought a 2-bedroom leasehold property two year ago. The terms of the lease say the freeholder is responsible for external repairs and so on. I regularly pay my management and ground rent and owe nothing. Last year, I was told there were leaks into my flat and had caused rot and mold growth in many areas. This was after I just renovated the flat, hence my paintwork, etc were all a waste. I approached the freeholder to fix the leaks as they were coming from the roof, etc and only to be told they would not be doing it as mine is not the first one. They said they were looking at a meeting first of all leaseholders to know what they would and I should carry on paying my management fee. I told them no as now because of the leaks and mold, I have no tenant and the property is being under priced. We have had a similar meeting two years ago on how the freeholder would fix historical neglect with a programme involving a contribution from leaseholders and only to be watered down. I do not believe in theri meeting and so what can I do?
Bestuk - 1-Feb-17 @ 6:50 PM
apaz - Your Question:
I bought a one bedroomed apartment that has been converted in an old hospital. When I moved in I could hear rats in the ceiling, I have evidence that the builders knew there was a vermin problem before I bought it, are they in breach of contract to sell this to me knowing this? becuase I would have never bought knowing This? Its 4 months down the line and I can still hear them. I have decided we want to sell my property but I have been advised by citizens advice that I must disclose this so now I'm stuck with a property that I am unable to sell! What can I do? Your advice would be grateful. Thank you

Our Response:
In the first place you would have to get someone in to look and confirm whether it is actually rats. It is very unusual that builders would deal with the refurbishment of a whole building, but overlook/neglect refurbishment of the roof. Also, if you had a survey done - this should have picked up on this if the surveyor checked out the roof space. You don't say if there are other people in the building resident on the top floor who would have the same issues? An obvious course of action would be to ask them. Therefore, I think you need to do some further investigations and find out exactly what it is that is causing the problem. If it is rats, then you may also wish to convene with the other residents to explore your options are under the circumstances.
ContractsAndAgreements - 31-Jan-17 @ 11:27 AM
I bought a one bedroomed apartment that has been converted in an old hospital. When I moved in I could hear rats in the ceiling, I have evidence that the builders knew there was a vermin problem before I bought it, are they in breach of contract to sell this to me knowing this? becuase i would have never bought knowing This? Its 4 months down the line and I can still hear them. I have decided we want to sell my property but i have been advised by citizens advice that i must disclose this so now I'm stuck with a property that I am unable to sell! What can I do? Your advice would be grateful. Thank you
apaz - 30-Jan-17 @ 1:48 PM
I am seeking advice my son goes to a university Baton Rouge LA. since he does not live in the state of which the school resides, we have to pay out of state tuition fees as well as housing and so forth. When we were given our bill, they told us that all of the fees and cost was included in the bill. after the financial aid was applied they told us we would have a remaining balance of 1782.00$ we were given a balance and a billing statement. from there we went into a binding written contract stating that this is what's owed, We signed the contract to that agreement. for the entire semester, the bill remained at 1782.00$. when we got ready to make the payment, the university tacked on another 3,500$ for us to pay for the fall semester raising the bill to 5,471,000$ they are trying to say that we have to pay that before he can return to school. can this be considered as a breach of contract on the university's part? and can they do that to just tack on more money after an amount has been established and contract agreed for one amount?
carol - 11-Jan-17 @ 8:31 PM
Hi Some advice please. Made a verbal agreement with a lady and payed a deposit for the cafe she run as she wanted out and was in debt with it. 2 days before we were due to take over she sends a text saying she's changed her mind and because of how much she owes landlord she would be walking away with nothing. We verbal agreed.. shock hands and payed a deposit. Also we bought stock for cafe as well as mifi Internet and phone number for cafe. We want this cafe. What are our legal rights. Thanks in advance
Firestorm - 4-Jan-17 @ 8:31 PM
My son has been attending a football academy with the hopes of becoming a better player and fulfilling his dream of playing football as a Career at any reasonable level. He has played for clubs at a good level and went to a private academy at a cost of £24000 a year , as a single parent it was funded by family and friends there were 3 instalments to be paid of which 2 have been paid so far of £15000. He has been there 3 months of the year term and is very unhappy . Training not as indicated, meals not as discribed , being played in a position he dose not play and asking to be changed and told if he dose not play in position told he won't get many games, nutritionist for player never happened, I feel very dissatisfied and my son has come home depressed, I don't know what to do and have been told the contract is binding and I have to pay the remainder of £6500 which the family and friends refuse to pay as that believe he has been treated unfairly please help.
Bev24pool - 4-Jan-17 @ 1:38 PM
My daughter has been in uni since September and has been renting and paying ret up until the end of October 16. She was eventually forced to stop paying rent to see if it would help get major repairs fixed and also to see if the agency could get rid of the rats that have now found their way into the property! It appeared that in many occasions attempts were being made to fix these repairs but never successfully, indeed on a few occasions the proper trades men weren't sent out to the property to resolve, in actual fact this resulted in matters getting worse!! Today a meeting was called between clients, land lord and letting agency where only 2 clients could attend resulting in The letting agency passing blame for a lot of the problems and the land lord not actually knowing about most of the problems! Full admission on this at meeting! The land lord has now made a "good will gesture" of £200 to each party living at the property. Provided all rent arrears are paid in the next 24hours.. 6pm on the 21/12/16.. Landlord is refusing to document this as "compensation" and all repairs haven't been fixed yet and rats were heard in the cavity walls last week!! Where do we stand going forward?? Help needed please!!
Alana - 20-Dec-16 @ 2:13 PM
Mrs Mc - Your Question:
On sat 17.12.16 I paid a deposit for a car and signed paperwork showing a chassis number make model and colour of the car. The paperwork was also sighed by the sales person. I received a call today expecting to be told the registration number of the vehicle so I could insure the car and delivery date. Instead I was told the car I had signed for in good faith was no longer available, it had already been sold. Would I have a different colour. Am I right in thinking this is a breech of contract on the part of the garage?

Our Response:
The manufacturer should refund your deposit, as yes, it is in breach of contract.
ContractsAndAgreements - 20-Dec-16 @ 11:51 AM
On sat 17.12.16 I paid a deposit for a car and signed paperwork showing a chassis number make model and colour of the car. The paperwork was also sighed by the sales person. I received a call today expecting to be told the registration number of the vehicle so i could insure the car and delivery date. Instead I was told the car I had signed for in good faith was no longer available, it had already been sold. Would I have a different colour. Am I right in thinking this is a breech of contract on the part of the garage?
Mrs Mc - 19-Dec-16 @ 9:36 PM
Hi! I am looking for your advice. Me & my family are members of the DL club. We were verbally abused and threatened. The evidence has been recorded on a phone and the person was pleaded guilty and had a conditional caution from the police. However, DL club decided to keep him in the gym that put us in the position no longer to visit the club. I went through the terms and conditions and it was clearly says that if you were verbally abused or threatened by other member, he will be immediately ban from the gym. It didn't happen. We phoned to head office and got a response that if we won't come we won't have any problems. What I must do?
Nicole - 2-Dec-16 @ 10:06 AM
Contractbreach - Your Question:
I run a small company and have a contract to provide training to a major employer. They have broken the contract and refuse to discuss anything with me. I have a contract that runs until December 2017 and it clearly states what deliver. What can I do?

Our Response:
In the first instance, I suggest you seek legal advice if you think you have a good case to claim for breach of contract and in order to explore your options. Also, you would be advised to read the terms and conditions of the contract to see if the company has left a get-out clause.
ContractsAndAgreements - 29-Nov-16 @ 11:52 AM
I run a small company and have a contract to provide training to a major employer. They have broken the contract and refuse to discuss anything with me. I have a contract that runs until December 2017 and it clearly states what deliver. What can I do?
Contractbreach - 28-Nov-16 @ 2:04 PM
I built a loft conversion around 14 months ago for a nightmare client. She withheld money and didn't give me my final payment. She claimed she would use the money she withheld to get someone else in to rectify the work. I never heard back from her until recently over a year later and she wants me to return to her home to rectify things. She said she has a guarantee and that she will be taking legal advice if I do not return to rectify the jobs. Is her guarantee void due to not receiving full payment as she is in breach of her contract?
lau - 23-Nov-16 @ 8:27 AM
IhadacontractwithT mobile andwhenIwenttotheshoptoupgrademycontactI wasgivenanewcontractwhichwasEEandeverythingwassignedfor.
Evelyn - 17-Nov-16 @ 8:44 PM
Steveonsky - Your Question:
Can anyone help!I recently left double glazing company. They are threating me with court action after I asked one of their fitters to mend my door and offered to pay him.They fitter was going to do in his own time and use my materials. Should I be worried or are they just bullying me.

Our Response:
You haven't said what grounds they are threatening you with court action on. It's a tricky question to answer without knowing the full details, but I can't see there should be an issue, unless it was specifically specified in your contract, but only while you were working there. Once you have left, it is up to you who you ask to do work for you.
ContractsAndAgreements - 15-Nov-16 @ 11:44 AM
My tenancy agreement says that my landlord has to protect my deposit he has not done so.It also says that he will provide me with a copy of the gas safety certificate again he has not done so.Also the law says he has to do both of these things.I think his actions amount to a fundamental breach of contract.Am I right?
Norman - 14-Nov-16 @ 6:58 PM
Can anyone help! I recently left double glazing company. They are threating me with court action after I asked one of their fitters to mend my door and offered to pay him. They fitter was going to do in his own time and use my materials. Should I be worried or are they just bullying me.
Steveonsky - 14-Nov-16 @ 5:08 PM
Just after some advice. I had a 24 month contract with a phone provider. Due to an error from the company that led to fraud on my account I was left without a sim for 5 months.In this time I got another contract elsewhere as the phone provider kept telling me they couldn't give me a sim. 5 months later they now have gave me a sim and want to carry on the contract. Unfortunately I took out another contract as I believed theirs to be void. Is the fact they left me without a sim for 5 months breach of contract as they want a early cancellation fee to cancel the contract now...
Ian - 14-Nov-16 @ 12:42 PM
JJ - Your Question:
I could do with some advice on a finance contract I signed for a new kitchen. My lender stated in my contract that the credit would be transferred to the supplier once the goods & service were delivered.Well im due for delivery & the supplier has gone into administration & has ceased to trade & I think im highly unlikely to receive them so I contacted the finance company to make sure the contract wouldn't go ahead & to my surprise the lender said the account had already 'gone live' because the credit had already been sent to the supplier ? Yet I had no delivery of goods ? Does this mean the finance company has breached its contract ?

Our Response:
If under the terms and conditions, the finance company said no payment would be delivered until after the goods were, then you have a case.
ContractsAndAgreements - 8-Nov-16 @ 12:34 PM
noor- Your Question:
Hi I need sie urgent advice I recently ordered some good s for a client of me however I was late in delivering these goods to them it arrived 4 days late via dhl she is now threatening to sue me for breach of contract. What should I do I have offered the client a full refunderstanding for the goods even though she wants to still keep them I don't mind at this pint however what are. my rights

Our Response:
It's hard to say without knowing the details. Much depends upon the circumstances behind the contract and whether there has been a significant impact of her not receiving the goods. You may need to seek legal advice.
ContractsAndAgreements - 8-Nov-16 @ 11:52 AM
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
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ContractsAndAgreements website. Please read our Disclaimer.