Termination for breach of property contract
Termination for breach of property contract

The following Property Disputes practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Termination for breach of property contract
  • Rescission ab initio
  • Rescission for breach
  • Rescission for breach—what are the seller's options?
  • Rescinding the contract
  • Affirming the contract
  • Rescission for breach—what are the buyer's options?

Rescission can either mean a contract is discharged by breach, or that a contract is treated as if it never existed—known as rescission ab initio. This Practice Note explains what these two different remedies mean, what options are available to the parties, and what the Standard Conditions of Sale and the Standard Commercial Property Conditions (the Standard Conditions) provide in that respect.

For contractual remedies in relation to property contracts generally, see Practice Notes:

  1. Notice to complete

  2. Repudiation of property sale contracts

  3. Specific performance of property agreements

  4. Liability for breach of property contract after completion

  5. Return or forfeiture of a deposit

  6. Misrepresentation and misstatement—property

  7. Exclusion clauses in property contracts—misrepresentation

  8. Liability for inaccurate replies to enquiries

  9. Seller’s duty of disclosure and buyer’s remedies

  10. Rectification—mutual mistake

  11. Rectification—unilateral mistake, and

  12. Rescission in the context of a claim based on mistake

The term rescission is used to describe two very different remedies:

  1. rescission ab initio, and

  2. rescission for breach (or more accurately discharge by breach)

Rescission ab initio

Rescission ab initio is an equitable remedy whereby the contract is treated as if it never existed. This remedy is available where a misrepresentation by one party induced the other to enter into it (see Practice Note: Misrepresentation and misstatement—property).

Compensation may be payable to balance the position of the parties. Damages are not payable because there has not been a breach of

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