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#AskALawyer – What happens when suspensive conditions are not fulfilled?

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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.

Who is Tiaan van der Berg?
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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.


David A Steynberg, managing editor and director of HomeTimes, has more than 10 years of experience as both a journalist and editor, having headed up Business Day’s HomeFront supplement, SAPOA’s range of four printed titles, digimags Asset in Africa and the South African Planning Institute’s official title, Planning Africa, as well as B2B titles, Building Africa and Water, Sewage & Effluent magazines. He began his career at Farmer’s Weekly magazine before moving on to People Magazine where he was awarded two Excellence Awards for Best Real Life feature as well as Writer of the Year runner-up. He is also a past fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

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