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Part VII Discharge and Breach, 25 Incomplete Performance

From: Contract Law in Practice

Neil Andrews

From: Oxford Legal Research Library (http://olrl.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved.date: 04 July 2022

Subject(s):
Performance of contract — Contractual stipulation and time for payment

The ‘entire obligation rule’ concerns contingent liabilities, by way of counter-performance. The rule has the salutary self-help protective function that a performing party becomes entitled to payment or other performance by the other side only if the relevant task is completely and properly achieved. Only if the performer ‘crosses this line’ is the other required to pay. For example, a builder who is to be paid on completion of the work cannot demand payment without having finished the relevant job. However, the ‘substantial performance’ doctrine might render the performing party entitled to claim the agreed sum as a debt even if that party’s performance has not been perfect, subject to a deduction in respect of the cost of rectifying defective performance.

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