Last edited 13 Oct 2020

Contract Law

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[edit] What is a contract?

  • Bilateral contract: contains a set of promises that each party has made to the other (X promises to build Y a house and Y promises to pay X for doing it)
  • Unilateral contract: only one party will make a promise to do something if the other party actually does something stipulated by the former (X promises to pay Y $100 if Y completes and returns a questionnaire)

See Contract for more information.

[edit] Types of contracts

See Contract under seal v under hand for more information.

[edit] Is there a contract?

  • Was there an intention of the partied to create legal relations?
  • Was there an agreement between the parties?
  • Was there a consideration?

[edit] Offer

[edit] Letters of Intent

See Letter of intent for more information.

[edit] Acceptance

  • Must be certain and unambiguous: can be by word (written or oral) or by conduct, which must be made known to the offeror.
  • A counter-offer is not an acceptance as it varies the terms and destroys the original offer, which it rejects.
  • The counter-offer itself will have to be accepted by the initial offeror.

[edit] Retrospective acceptance

  • Where a formal contract is not signed until after work has commenced, does the contract govern work which is done in the interim period?
  • If the contract does not apply, the work will be paid for on a quantum meruit basis.
  • Other rights and duties of the parties will be governed by whatever terms the court implies into the circumstance.
  • A court may imply a term for retroactive effect of the contract.

[edit] Terms of contract

[edit] Express terms

[edit] Implied terms

See Express and implied terms for more information.

[edit] Performance and Breach

[edit] The right to sue on partial performance

  • A party must perform was they are contracted to do.
  • Non-performance of some part will disentitle the partial performer to payment.
  • Except when the party has 'substantially performed' their obligations whereby they are entitled to the contract sum subject only to a counter-claim for those parts remaining un-performed.

[edit] Remedies against the incomplete performer

  • Either incomplete performance gives the other party, who has so far performed their obligations as they fall due, a right to damages to put them in the position they would have been in had the contract been performed.
  • Or they can hold themself absolved from any further performance of their obligations, when there is:
  1. Breach of contractual condition.
  2. Repudiatory breach (if the breach goes to the route of the contract).
  3. Renunciation (if one party does not intend to continue to perform).

See Breach of contract for more information.

[edit] Privity of contract

See Privity of contract for more information.

[edit] The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999

See Rights of third parties for more information.

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

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