However, I have just received an email from the customer to say that her usual painter and decorator could now fit her in, so she would no longer be requiring my services. However, I have already ordered and paid for the materials she requested and because the materials are special order I cannot return them or use on any other jobs. Can I request that she pays for these materials and where do I stand in the future on customers accepting quotes and then cancelling? Many thanks in anticipation.
Under a contract, there are three types of terms – warranties, conditions and innominate terms. A warranty is a minor term of a contract and if breached, the innocent party may claim damages arising from the breach, but is not entitled to end the contract. A condition is a major term which goes to the root of the contract and if breached, the innocent party is entitled to repudiate and end the contract. Innominate terms lie between warranties and conditions.
In stating that your services are no longer required, this would be a breach of a condition which would entitle you to accept the wrongful repudiation (you will need to reply to your customer’s email to say that this is a repudiatory breach of which you are accepting), and bring the contract to an end, the result of which would entitle you to claim for any work done (including the materials that you have purchased), plus any loss of profit.