#AskALawyer – What happens when suspensive conditions are not fulfilled?
Hi, what is the difference between non-fulfilment of suspensive conditions versus non-fulfilment of a normal contractual term? – Tim
Hi Tim, suspensive conditions are often incorporated in contracts of sale, e.g. obtaining a loan before a certain date. A valid and binding agreement will only come into operation once the suspensive conditions are fulfilled. If the suspensive conditions are not fulfilled in time and in totality, the agreement does not come into operation and will be null and void. No claims for damages or commission can be instituted.
In contrast with a suspensive condition, when a party to a contract fails to perform in accordance with a normal contractual condition, the party is in breach of contract but the agreement does not lapse automatically. Notice as determined in the contract must then be given to the party in breach with a timeframe in which he/she must remedy the breach. Should the party then not remedy the breach within the given timeframe, the seller can claim damages or specific performance, the agent can claim commission, and the attorneys involved can claim wasted costs.
Tiaan van der Berg is the founding director of M.C. van der Berg Incorporated, a legal practice specialising in property law. He is also the co-director of Mcademy Training Institute.