What is considered onerous property or contracts?
What is considered onerous property or contracts?

The following Restructuring & Insolvency guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What is considered onerous property or contracts?
  • Disclaimer
  • What is onerous property?
  • Case authorities on onerous property

Disclaimer

Under sections 178 and 315 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (IA 1986), a liquidator or a trustee in bankruptcy (trustee) has the power to disclaim property belong to the company or bankrupt which they consider to be onerous. In this Practice Note we discuss the position of a liquidator, but the principles are the same for both a liquidator and a trustee.

For more detail on disclaimer, what it is and what the process is for invoking it, see:

  1. Disclaimer—overview

  2. Practice Note: The process of disclaimer by a liquidator or trustee in bankruptcy under sections 178 or 315 of the Insolvency Act 1986

  3. Practice Note: The effect of disclaimer by a liquidator or trustee in bankruptcy on property and third parties

. This Practice Note covers what is considered in practice as ‘onerous’.

What is onerous property?

IA 1986, s 178(3) defines onerous property as:

  1. any unprofitable contract, and

  2. any other property of the company which is unsaleable or not readily saleable or is such that it may give rise to a liability to pay money or perform any other onerous act

IA 1986, s 436 defines property widely and 'includes money, goods, things in action, land, and every description of property wherever situated and also obligations and every description of interest, whether present or future or vested or contingent