Generally, for a person to recover damages under a theory of breach of contract, that person has to prove that the other party committed a “material” breach of a contract causing damages to the plaintiff. Normally, a failure to perform a certain important task before a required contractual deadline would constitute a material breach if the contract states that “time is of the essence”. However, many people write their own contracts without the assistance of a lawyer or have no written contract at all. The result is that the contract may not contain the necessary terms to establish that time is of the essence or the contract does not state a time for completion of performance by the other person.
So what happens if performance does not occur for a long time but there is no deadline in the contract? Can the non-performing party be held in breach?