What to do, if an agreement is not honoured

As not all agreements have the power of a contract or have legal consequences, then for instance a promise to visit someone in private will not generally give the inviter the right to demand the promised visit in court. Whether an agreement has legal consequences or not mainly depends on the will of the parties to the agreement – whether they wish to create legal consequences or not.

Legal consequences may comprise subjective rights arising from an agreement and the related obligations of the other parties to the agreement. However, it is primarily the agreements that have the quality of a contract that can be handled from a legal point of view.

A breach of contract involves the non-performance or unsatisfactory performance of contractual obligations. Contractual obligations must be performed in due time and in due course to the person to whom the performance was agreed to be addressed. If the performance is delayed or inappropriate in any other way, you should first contact the contractual party and attempt to reach an agreement on what to do next.

When there is reason to suspect a breach of contract, the partner(s) should be notified immediately to minimise potential damages incurred by the breach and to give the other party the opportunity to correct the breach of agreement. Moreover, delaying the notification may preclude the subsequent use of certain legal remedies.

If no agreement can be reached on correcting the breach, the injured party has to file a statement of a claim to the court. However, this is a complicated process and it is best not to start it on your own. It is definitely advised to consult with a lawyer.

The State Portal eesti.ee does not provide legal assistance, European e-Justice portal provides information on justice systems.

Compiled by: Ministry of Justice