If you conduct any kind of business, you are no stranger to the utility of a business contract. A simple document can ensure services you’ve paid for are completed in a timely manner, there aren’t any disputes about compensation and otherwise avoid unnecessary arguments. What happens when the other party shirks their contracted duties, though?
Breach of contract is a frustrating situation that many people and businesses find themselves on the receiving end of. You have the right to relief in the form of damages, receiving the performance you agreed upon and cancellation and restitution from the other party. Speak to a skilled attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case.
The four primary types of contract breaches
It comes as a surprise to many that there are several forms of breach of contract. Understanding how the other party acted out of turn will help you and your attorney devise your legal strategy. Breaches of contract can usually be described in the following ways:
Minor breach– Also called a partial breach, a minor breach means that a lesser portion of the contract was not fulfilled. You may have grounds to pursue a minor breach if you hired a contractor to cut down a tree and clear the area, but they left a considerable amount of tree bark and small limbs behind.
Material breach– A material breach denotes that a service significantly different than what was agreed upon was rendered. For example, if the tree cutter cut down an oak tree in your front yard rather than the spruce tree in your back yard that the contract specifically referenced, you likely have grounds to pursue a material breach.
Anticipatory breach– Separate from minor and material breaches are anticipatory and actual breaches. An anticipatory breach occurs when the contracted party announces ahead of time that they will not perform their portion of the contract. For example, if a contractor notifies you ahead of time that a job will take an extra day you may be able to pursue an anticipatory breach.
Actual breach– An actual breach of contract occurs when the contracted party does not fulfill their duties, and does so without notice. A contractor who simply does not show up to do a job they are under contract to complete is a typical example of an actual breach.
Each situation is different, and the counsel of a legal professional will help you determine where you breach of contract lies.
Nobody should tolerate having an agreed upon contract broken. You have the right to several forms of restitution when a contractor breaks their agreement; don’t be afraid to pursue them.