Hello, I have just received a letter from one of my suppliers saying that the contract that we have with them has been frustrated and they are no longer able to fulfil the remainder of the contract, due conditions beyond there control.
They supply my store with fresh vegetables and my shop is well known in the area for selling these vegetables. They bring a lot of trade into the store. The supplier said in their letter that our contract was frustrated because their was flooding in the farms that they normally get a lot of their British home grown vegetables from.
They also said they do not have sufficient resources to find another supplier. Therefore the contract that they have with me has become frustrated meaning that either party no longer has to comply with the contract.
Is that right, surely they cannot just get out of the contract we had just like that. Can you please explain what frustration of a contract is?
The Answer from Solicitors Online
Frustration of a contract
Frustration of contract takes place when it becomes impossible for both parties to perform what was agreed in the contract.
What are valid causes of frustration of contract?
(a) The destruction of the subject matter of the contract – For example if two parties made a contract regarding an estate, but the estate later gets demolished to make way for a new airport runway. The contract may be regarded as frustrated, as the subject matter of the contract has been destroyed.
(b) The non-occurrence of an event which was the basis of the contract – If for example a contract was made regarding a sporting event scheduled to be held on a particular date. But due to weather concerns the sporting event is cancelled. The contract may be regarded as frustrated.
(c) Non-availability of one of the parties due to death, illness or other circumstance – If one of the parties is no longer alive or is ill and the contract is one for a personal service or employment. The contract may be regarded as frustrated.
(d) (d) Government intervention – If Government intervention obstructs a contract from being able to be fulfilled then the contract may be regarded as being frustrated
(e) Supervening Illegality – If a war broke out and the parties to the contract were enemies in the war, then it is likely that their nations could make it illegal for them to trade with one another, meaning that the contract would become frustrated.
If you need legal advice on frustration of contract, you can speak to one of our Solicitors online right now.