Business/commercial law essay question and answer

Annan agreed to paint Angela’s house at an agreed price. When Annan had finished the work. Angela discovered that although most of the painting was satisfactory, Annan had forgotten to apply a coat of gloss paint on one of the doors. Annan fell ill and could not complete the work. Angela refused to pay Annan the contractual price, claiming that the contract had not been fully executed and that therefore he was entitled to be paid only a reasonable sum for the work he had actually undertaken. This, Annan claimed, was much less than the contract price.

Advise Annan.


• This problem is based on the exceptions of the common law doctrine of precise and exact i.e. substantial performance.

• In this case it is clear that Annan has substantially performed his part of the contract and is therefore entitled to payment for work done.

• Angela is bound to pay Annan the contract price less the amount she is likely to spend to have the door painted as agreed and since Angela has paid a “reasonable” sum for Annans work, Annan has no cause of action against Angela. However if the amount is too low, he may have a cause of action for breach of contract.

• My advise to Annan is that he has no actionable claim against Angela. This advise is based on the decision in Marshides Mehta and Co. Ltd. V Barron Verhegen whose facts were substantially similar.

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