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Willis, Anne v Crosland, Louise Vanessa [2021] VSCA 320

CONTRACT
Victorian Court of Appeal
Judge(s): 
Sifris, Walker JJA and Macaulay AJA
Parties: 

Willis, Anne v Crosland, Louise Vanessa

Judgment Date: 
23 November 2021
Catchwords: 

CONTRACT - Sale of land - Clause permitted purchaser to terminate contract if purchaser (a) obtained report which designated current defect in structure on land as 'major building defect' (b) gave notice and (c) 'is not then in default' - Payment of deposit due at midnight on 18 December 2019 - Purchaser gave notice of termination at 7:51 pm on 18 December 2019 - Purchaser had paid most but not all of deposit - Whether trial judge erred in finding that purchaser was not 'ready, willing and able' to perform and so was 'then in default' - Purchaser not in actual breach - Whether purchaser was 'ready, willing and able' did not affect ability to exercise contractual right - Vendor contended by notice of contention that purchaser repudiated the contract and was 'then in default' - Repudiation not sufficiently raised below - New issues raised on appeal - Relevant conduct not repudiatory - Suggested repudiation not accepted before notice of termination - Purchaser was 'not then in default' - Vendor contended by notice of contention that report did not provide sufficient basis to terminate contract - Report did provide proper basis - Termination by purchaser valid - Appeal allowed - Notice of contention dismissed.

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