HDK Ltd (trading as Unique Home) v Sunshine Ventures Ltd and others [2009] EWHC 2866 (QB) (23 November 2009)

HDK Ltd (trading as Unique Home) v Sunshine Ventures Ltd and others [2009] EWHC 2866 (QB) (23 November 2009)

The case considered whether the defendant builder, HDK, had been in repudiatory breach of contract or, alternatively, whether termination of the construction contracts by the claimants, Sunshine Ventures Ltd, in itself constituted repudiatory conduct. HDK had agreed to carry out construction works at three properties owned by Sunshine Ventures Ltd and its Directors. Sunshine Ventures Ltd had purported to terminate the contracts by way of HDK’s alleged repudiatory conduct, and which included delay and defects. HDK had transferred his business to a limited company after the making of payments, and had commenced the action for payment by HDK in error. That claim was struck out. Sunshine Ventures Ltd claimed against HDK for losses associated with the termination. As to delay, the judge found that the completion dates for the contracts had been waived by HDK as a result of the variation of the works, supported by evidence of continued payment post the original completion dates. Further, correspondence urging HDK to complete the works did not have the effect of making time of the essence because it didn’t specify a time for compliance or the consequences of a failure to comply. As to defects, the judge found that there had not been a sufficient accumulation of minor defects to demonstrate repudiatory conduct by HDK. Accordingly, there was no reason for Sunshine Ventures Ltd to terminate the contract and the termination itself had been a wrongful repudiation of contract. However, HDK did not succeed in his claim for further payment because, taking into account the cost of making good defects, he had not established any further entitlement.