Sunday, February 22, 2015

No right to breach your District of Columbia contracts.

On February 12, 2015, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals confirmed that your contract does not have an implied "right to breach."

In Sundberg v. TTR Realty, a home buyer claimed that the seller and the real estate agent failed to share information about a neighboring construction project. Had they known about the project, right across the street, they would have broken their agreement and been subject to claims for damages by the seller.

The failure to share information came AFTER the contract of sale was signed by the buyer.  They thus could not argue that a misrepresentation had been made to induce making the contract.  And that was their downfall in this case.

Precisely because the contract had already been signed, the home buyers could not claim to have relied to their detriment on the absence of this information.

And more importantly, in a District of Columbia transaction, there is no "right to breach" your contract.  You either perform, or you don't. And if you fail to perform, you remain subject to whatever legal remedies are available to the other side.