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Condition Precedent: Definition, Clause & Example

Condition Precedent: Definition, Clause & Example
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  • 0:01 Definition
  • 0:53 Clause
  • 1:31 Examples
  • 2:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jessica Schubert

Jessica is a practicing attorney and has taught law and has a J.D. and LL.M.

This lesson will teach you about what constitutes a condition precedent. You will review the definition, examine a clause and look at examples where condition precedents are utilized.

Definition of Condition Precedent

Let's say that you want to buy a house. You enter into a contract for the purchase of the house. However, you want to make sure that the house is in good condition -- that it has a solid roof, good insulation, and definitely no asbestos -- so you hire an inspector to come and look at it. In your purchasing agreement, you include language which states that a condition of your purchase is that the property must pass inspection.

A condition precedent is a condition or an event that must happen before a contract is in effect. A condition precedent can also trigger what each person must do under a contract. For instance, in the example, the agreement to purchase the house does not become effective until the inspector determines that the property passes inspection. However, if the inspector indicates that the house fails inspection, then there is no binding agreement.

Clause

The condition precedent clause can be written in any variety of ways. There is no one correct way to draft a condition precedent clause.

Imagine the following: you will buy ten cars, but only when the cars arrive on November 1st at 3:00 p.m. at your residence, ABC Street. The condition precedent clause would typically look something like this: I agree to purchase ten cars from X, but only upon the arrival of said cars on November 1st, at 3:00 p.m. at ABC Street. Failure to meet this condition precedent will make the contract immediately ineffective.

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