The following Property Disputes practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
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:
Notice to complete
Repudiation of property sale contracts
Specific performance of property agreements
Liability for breach of property contract after completion
Return or forfeiture of a deposit
Misrepresentation, misstatement and non-disclosure in property matters
Exclusion clauses in property contracts—misrepresentation
Rectification—unilateral mistake, and
Rescission in the context of a claim based on mistake
The term rescission is used to describe two very different remedies:
rescission ab initio, and
rescission for breach (or more accurately discharge by breach)
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, misstatement and non-disclosure in property matters).
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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