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Breach of Contract

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 29 Sep 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.

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I have a limited company, myself and one other. We were both directors and 50% shareholders but the company only generated enough income for one person. So we agreed that he should buy me out for £5,000 and I would retain 5% and the company would continue paying my mobile phone as it was contracted until Jan 2019 and the number was mine before the company started. I was to resign as director and hand over control to him, which I have done. After 2 weeks he contacted me and said he had spoken to the company accountant and they had agreed the company was not worth much and he did'nt want to give me £5,000, he started to say "how about £2,500" which I then reminded him of our agreement I have E mails sent to the accountant laying out the agreement (not the mobile phone part) and amount. I do have e mails where he agrees to send me a PAC code for the phone. I refused the offer of a lower amount and ended the call, 2 days later he sent an e mail saying "I have spoken with EE today regards your mobile phone number ending 599.As you are aware we are in contract with this phone, you have two options: Pay me £255.99 and I will end your mobile phone contract this will free up the number Call EE on ************** and take over the ownership of this mobile ending 599 , you will need to use the temporary password of ********* If I have not heard from you within 14 days I will assume you no longer wish to retain the mobile number ending 599 and report the phone as missing. But within 24 hours he had reported the phone stolen and the phone now does not work........ Any advice would be warmly welcomed.
Madhatta1 - 29-Sep-17 @ 9:26 PM
Charlie bucket - Your Question:
My neighbours and I had a boundary dispute which was about a year ago. We finally came to an agreement to share use of a small piece of land between our properties. This agreement was reached and filmed on police body camera. I have a copy of the detailed civil agreement video which I had to apply for and pay a small fee. During our agreement I was granted responsibly to maintain the land which we would share. Fast forward a year later my neighbours have constructed a pack of lies, false witness statements, a surveyor report which is mathematically impossible. Question, does this agreement constitute breach of contract or another description?

Our Response:
Unless the agreement was reached in court, then there is no real agreement, or let's say; it is open to challenge. However, if you both cannot agree and the matter has to go to court, then the agreement can be used as evidence that an agreement was made. The court will then decide on your behalf how the land should be divided. If your neighbours have produced false witness statements, these will be questioned by the courts.
ContractsAndAgreements - 29-Sep-17 @ 10:39 AM
My neighbours and I had a boundary dispute which was about a year ago. We finally came to an agreement to share use of a small piece of land between our properties. This agreement was reached and filmed on police body camera. I have a copy of the detailed civil agreement video which I had to apply for and pay a small fee. During our agreement I was granted responsibly to maintain the land which we would share. Fast forward a year later my neighbours have constructed a pack of lies, false witness statements, a surveyor report which is mathematically impossible. Question, does this agreement constitute breach of contract or another description?
Charlie bucket - 28-Sep-17 @ 4:41 PM
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
Hi...virgin media shared my sensitive information with a 3rd party NOT agreed to...they sent an email with my account details bank details etc to another person..the person that lived at my address before me..i had never given them her email address etc and so ended my contract with them cos its a clear breach...but..am i entitled to my money back that ive paid?!! Or anything else
Bob90 - 16-Sep-17 @ 6:49 AM
@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
I done some work in a house price the work for the hole plastering and the painter cam at the last thing done sone rooms up stairs and took 900pounds and left but I had a contract with the home owner now there's no money left for painting what shall I do
None - 23-Aug-17 @ 7:11 PM
Jeremy Smith is a keen football player. Jeremy is 16 years old and a Year 10 student at Xavier College in Ba. The Ba Football Association (BFA) approached Jeremy’s dad, Doctor Andrew Smith to request his permission to allow Jeremy to play for the MEN IN BLACK Ba Soccer Team. Dr Andrew agreed and signed the consent form under two conditions. The conditions are that Jeremy’s training and games will not disturb his school work and secondly that Jeremy will only play home games. Dr Andrew was busy in his practice when Mr. Taito the Human Resource Manager for BFA approached him with the contract.He did not fully read the contract before signing it that he was not aware that the contract also includes away games. In Dr Andrew’s conversation with Mr. Taito before signing the contract, the later reassured that Jeremy will not be playing on tour games. Jeremy executed the contract with the BFA which embodied the conditions set by his father. The contract was for a period of three years with a remuneration of FJD$500 per game. The clause on Termination stated that, One month Notice in writing by both parties. The BFA reassured Dr Andrew that Jeremy’s studies will be their priority. Jeremy’s performance increases every game and the team and management are all very fond of him. In the second year of Jeremy’s contract, the Team Management approached Jeremy if he could play away games. Jeremy accepted the proposal made by the Team Management and started playing away games without his father’s knowledge. One day, Dr Andrew was watching Fiji One Sports programme when it shows Jeremy playing in Lautoka the previous Saturday. Dr. Andrew got angry that he forbids Jeremy from attending any more training or games with the Ba Soccer Team. Jeremy failed to turn up for training or games. Two weeks later Dr Andrew received a “Demand Letter” (the Letter) from Mr. Kishore of KISHORE LAW, BFA’s Solicitor which claimed for damages in the total sum of FJD$30,000.00 (Thirty Thousand Dollars) for breach of contract. The Letter clearly stated that “according to the contract, Dr Andrew does not have the power to stop Jeremy for performing his contractual duties.” Dr Andrew was not aware that this was part of the contract he signed. If Dr Andrew fail to adhere to this demand within 21 days; Mr. Kishore will institute a claim in court. Dr Andrew approached you for Representation. Your Instruction is to draft a Reply to the Demand Letter to Mr. Kishore defending your client’s rights.
Jay - 16-Aug-17 @ 9:27 AM
I entered into an agreement with my finance company to pay aredused rate for three months ...half payment I paid 2 instalments half .but managed a full on the third time .but without worningthey turned my car off so I couldn't drive it .even after I paid and before it was due again ..i lost my job as a result of not being able to contact them in time.As I was a courier... can I have them for breach of contract...as im an able to pay now
Leon - 14-Aug-17 @ 9:21 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
I have a seasonal caravan pitch and pay a fee to keep and use my caravan on the site. The site advertises itself as having fully functioning showers and toilet facilities. Earlier this year, fire broke out in the washblock and destroyed the Ladies side of the facilities. The owner then converted the Mens toilets into unisex, shut the urinals and closed the shower facilities. The owner is promising to have the facilities up and running by the end of the year but in the meantime we have incurred additional electricity costs due to the need to have a shower in our caravan and also loss of advertised services. The owner has put the prices for 2018 up from £2000 to £2500 with the offer of one month free to cover inconvenience. Has the owner breached contract by failing to supply equivalent services should I wish to contest what appears to be a paltry offer?
Monkston - 10-Aug-17 @ 1:17 PM
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
Cc - Your Question:
I am a small limited company with only myself as the director.A large company hasn't paid anything for all their works done for over a year ago and have tried to settle at paying a lot less than is owed.The solicitor has refused the offers and said we are now going to court but this obviously takes time.My business has had a massive hit due to putting so much into the works carried out I've no money to put into the usual bigger contacts. I'm staying afloat but everything I bring in from these smaller contracts only just about cover overheads.I'm stuck at what to do and if I'm able to get compensation for any damages. All my books show what has happened as a result.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. I'm afraid you would have to take legal advice regarding this and if the other company is refusing to pay, your only recourse is court. You can claim interests and costs - however you would have to seek legal advice regarding requesting compensation for any financial knock-on effect. Obviously, all depends upon the opinion of the judge.
ContractsAndAgreements - 28-Jul-17 @ 1:58 PM
I am a small limited company with only myself as the director. A large company hasn't paid anything for all their works done for over a year ago and have tried to settle at paying a lot less than is owed. The solicitor has refused the offers and said we are now going to court but this obviously takes time. My business has had a massive hit due to putting so much into the works carried out I've no money to put into the usual bigger contacts. I'm staying afloat but everything I bring in from these smaller contracts only just about cover overheads. I'm stuck at what to do and if I'm able to get compensation for any damages. All my books show what has happened as a result.
Cc - 27-Jul-17 @ 11:43 AM
My husband has not been paid by the agency he is working through (he is a limited company working for one of the recruitment agencies' main clients). They were due to pay his last friday, and everytime we ring up asking for payment, we get fobbed off and its a lot of money they owe him. My question is, due to their non failure to pay, is this a breach of contract and does it render the contract between my husband and the agency null and void?
Jules - 25-Jul-17 @ 1:31 PM
@loobee_84 - you haven't got a contract yet. You would have to find out the reasons for the delay. I think Openreach are renowned for bad service. I'd complain.
Peter67 - 25-Jul-17 @ 11:54 AM
Hi, I'm hoping someone can help. I've just completed a self-build, we have all utilities connected except the phone. BT were due to connect us on 13th June and at the point of sale I advised it was a new build, the ducting needed to be run under the road and that Openreach had already conducted a survey detailing the full works to be carried out. On 13th, the sent only a telephone engineer and no lines had been run. The work still hasnt been carried out and the date for this keeps changing with no real reason, the latest being the end of October. Are BT in breach of contract for not providing us with the service that they committed to?
loobee_84 - 24-Jul-17 @ 2:07 PM
E - Your Question:
Bought a fittted kitchen 3 months ago. 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 £8000Payed £7000

Our Response:
Your kitchen needs to be both fit for purpose and last a reasonable length of time, it also has to be deemed as satisfactory quality and as described. You can see more via the link here which should tell you all you need to know on making a complaint. However, in the first instance you may wish to write to the company and make a list of the complaints. Also make a list of the times you have been in touch and there has been no response or a no-show. You will need to keep a copy of this should (as a last resort) you need to take the matter to court.
ContractsAndAgreements - 21-Jul-17 @ 10:30 AM
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
My child's secondary school cancelled a £759 school trip as the operator had gone into administration, we had paid in full.They are pursuing a claim through ATOL. My question is that, as there is clear evidence that my contract is with the school not the operator, shouldn't the school pay me back now rather than making me wait to see IF they are able to action a claim?
JJ - 5-Jul-17 @ 7:00 PM
Yas - Your Question:
Hi. I recently sold a vehicle on the 18/06/17 but the person who brought the vehicle was not able to pay upfront. So because the sale was on a Sunday, we drafted a handwritten contract of the time and date of the sale and also put the amount the buyer is still yet to pay. The buyer also signed this contract. The buyer took the vehicle and also took the whole 2nd part of the log book. He now doesn't answer his phone or returns any text messages. Is there any chance I can sue for breach of contract and approximately how much could that cost me please?

Our Response:
As you have given the log book, you have given away the ownership of the car. It means there is only the buyer's word against yours that no money has changed hands. I can only suggest you seek legal advice and apply through the small claims court. I also advise you log this as a theft with the police by calling 101.
ContractsAndAgreements - 30-Jun-17 @ 3:10 PM
Hi. I recently sold a vehicle on the 18/06/17 but the person who brought the vehicle was not able to pay upfront. So because the sale was on a Sunday, we drafted a handwritten contract of the time and date of the sale and also put the amount the buyer is still yet to pay. The buyer also signed this contract. The buyer took the vehicle and also took the whole 2nd part of the log book. He now doesn't answer his phone or returns any text messages. Is there any chance I can sue for breach of contract and approximately how much could that cost me please?
Yas - 30-Jun-17 @ 9:04 AM
I am a commission only sales agent selling motor additives to garages. The company I represent was taken over a few years ago by a large U.S. operation who also own another additive company. Now the two companies have to share a single production plant and are run by the same individuals. As agents for the original company, we have been assured that our products are still unique and superior and justify our much higher price. But the other company claim their products are the same but cheaper, and they are stealing our business. Is there a breach of contract here?
Bob - 24-Jun-17 @ 12:37 AM
Morph - Your Question:
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.

Our Response:
It's hard to advise as it is difficult to determine who is at fault, i.e whether it's a case of misrepresentation of sale, or whether there has been some genuine confusion. Please see link here and here which may point you in the right direction. Obviously, trying to sort the matter out directly with the seller is your first port of call.
ContractsAndAgreements - 19-Jun-17 @ 1:55 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
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