Repudiation Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Repudiation, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Repudiation?

(n) Repudication is the breach of conditions or obligations existing as per a contract or agreement entered by a person thereby denying the existence of the contract or with a purpose to foil the execution of the contract

History and Meaning of Repudiation

Repudiation refers to the act of breaking a contract or denying the existence of a contract. It can happen when one party fails to fulfill the obligations or conditions mentioned in a contract or agreement, thereby making it impossible for the other party to perform their duty of the contract. Repudiation is a breach of contract that relieves the aggrieved party from further performance.

From a legal standpoint, repudiation can occur either explicitly or implicitly. Explicit repudiation occurs when a party clearly communicates to the other party that they do not intend to perform their obligations under the contract. Implicit repudiation, on the other hand, is a little more complex and is based on the actions of the party who is believed to be in breach of the contract. Implicit repudiation is manifested by an act that is inconsistent with the contract's terms, preventing the other party from fulfilling their obligations.

Examples of Repudiation

  1. A party fails to deliver goods on the agreed date under a sales contract: In this example, the seller has repudiated the contract by not delivering the goods on the agreed date, thereby rendering the buyer unable to fulfill their end of the bargain.

  2. An employer refuses to pay an employee the agreed salary: An employer breaches an employment contract by not paying an employee the agreed amount, thereby repudiating the contract.

  3. A tenant fails to pay rent: In this case, the tenant has caused a repudiation of the lease agreement by not paying the rent, thereby making it impossible for the landlord to fulfill their duties under the contract.

Legal Terms Similar to Repudiation

  1. Breach of contract: Breach of contract refers to a violation of the terms and conditions of a contract. It is similar to repudiation in that it describes the failure of one party to perform their duties under a legally binding contract.

  2. Frustration of purpose: Frustration of purpose occurs when unforeseen circumstances arise, making it impossible to perform the contract's objectives. This is similar to repudiation in that it allows a party to exit the contract when it is impossible to fulfill the terms.

  3. Anticipatory repudiation: Anticipatory repudiation occurs when a party indicates in advance that they will not fulfill their obligations under a contract. This is similar to explicit repudiation in that it is an explicit breach of contract.