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3 different types of contract breaches 

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2024 | Business Law |

While we may not realize it, contracts are a part of most of our daily activities. When a person orders groceries, they enter into a contract with the grocery store. Cable TV, utilities, broadband and other essential services all involve the use of contracts. 

A contract is something that enforces the legal rights of all parties, and when these rights are upheld, there is little need to think about the contractual agreement. However, when a contract is breached, this is noticeable. What are some of the more common types of contract breaches?

1. Minor breaches 

Minor breaches, also known as immaterial breaches, don’t substantially change the terms of the contract. Usually, these breaches are easily rectifiable and they may not even need to be rectified at all. Using the grocery store example, if you ordered a certain brand of ketchup, but were given the store’s own brand of ketchup as a substitute, this would be a minor breach. 

2. Material breaches 

Material breaches are more serious. They fundamentally go against the terms of the contract. For example, if you paid a construction firm to build an extension on your house, but they never turned up to do the work, this is a material breach of contract. 

In such a situation, you could sue the construction company for damages. When looking at breaches of contract, the court typically tries to place parties in the position they would have been in had the breach never occurred. So, they may order the construction firm to complete the work. Or, they may order the construction company to reimburse you and cover any extra costs you incurred.  

3. Anticipatory breaches 

An anticipatory breach happens when one party is given an advanced warning. For instance, A delivery company may tell you in advance that your goods will not be arriving on the scheduled date. Often, this kind of breach can be resolved by negotiations. For instance, the company could agree to deliver the goods the following day.

Contract breaches can be complex. If you’re in a dispute, seeking legal guidance will help to put you in a better position.