Deadlines for the Right of Cancellation
The existence of the right of cancellation thus protects the interests of the victim, as well as the public interest in effective deterrence.
But the use of the right of cancellation is subject to a reasonable time limit.
Section 8 of the Remedies Contracts Act provides: “The cancellation of the contract shall be by notice of the injured party to the violator within a reasonable time after he became aware of the violation …”
Cancellation of the lease in our case should be done within a reasonable time, and the tenant who does not exercise the right of cancellation within that date loses the existing cancellation option available to him.
This is not a purely technical requirement.
The purpose of this requirement is to protect the interest of the lessor and the legitimate expectations of the landlord, as the perception is that despite the existence of the breach the violator should not be exposed to uncertainty as to the status of the contract for too long.
It is found, therefore, that the right of cancellation protects the interest of the injured party, while the reasonable time requirement preserves the interest of the infringer.
The period of time that constitutes a “reasonable time” thus reflects the balance between these two options.
It varies from case to case and depends, among other things, on the nature of the contract, the damage caused and the conduct of the parties.
A period of several days may be an unreasonable amount of time in some circumstances, while a few years may be considered a reasonable time in other circumstances.