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Anju   08 March 2021

Academic query

Please explain time is the essence of a contract.


 2 Replies

Kevin Moses Paul   09 March 2021

Parties to a contract often include a statement that says "time is of the essence". Parties to a contract are sometimes surprised to learn that missing a contractual deadline does not always amount to a material breach of the contract.

In many types of contracts like construction, real estate sales, loans, or other non-goods contracts, courts often don't consider timing to be essential.

Courts determine that minor deviations from a contract's schedule aren't important enough to warrant damages or termination of the contract.

The timing of a loan contract may be very important indeed, if the lender's failure to fund the loan on time means that you can't buy a house or pursue a lucrative business opportunity. Due to this purpose, the parties to a contract/agreement as well as advocates began to use "time is of the essence" provisions in contracts.[Source - Nolo]

Therefore, time is very crucial in any contract or agreement. Time for completion is an important concept in contracts.

Thus, when a time limit is attached to an obligation under a contract, failure to complete that obligation within the time prescribed is usually a “material” breach of contract and the other party may be entitled to damages.

Hope It Solves Your Query

Kevin M. Paul
1 Like

minakshi bindhani   13 November 2021

As per your concerns!

It is very well explained by @Kevin Moses Paul. Added to his answer.

Under the Indian Contract Act, 1872 in a contract, that means that performance by one party at or within the period specified in the contract is necessary to enable that party to require performance by the other party.

Failure to act within the time required constitutes a breach of the contract. The general rule is that time is not of the essence unless the contract expressly so provides.

As a result, concerning real estate transactions, the modern view is that time is not of the essence unless the parties have manifested such an intent. The same is generally true in construction contracts and contracts relating to the manufacture of goods. When time is not of the essence, courts generally permit parties to perform their obligations within a reasonable time.

Hope it is useful!
Minakshi Bindhani

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