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VENDOR AND PURCHASER: TIME OF THE ESSENCE: WHAT CONDUCT ON THE PART
What acts on the part of a vendor
wder an installment contract for the sale of real property will con
stitute a course of conduct from which can be drawn the inference that
the vendor has waived a provision in the contract making time of the
essence? In California the rule is settled that where, in such a
contract, the vendee defaults, the vendor is entitled to retain the pay
(1) ments nade to hin under the contract: But the courts have sought a
means of alleviating this harsh rule of forfeiture, and, as a result,
(2) there has spring up a line of cases represented by Boone v. Templenan
which preclude the vendor's right to insist upon strict performance of
the terms of the agreement where his conduct shows an intention not to
(1) Glock v. Howard & Wilson Colony Co. (1898) 123 Cal.1, 55 Pac. 713,
69 Am.St. Rep.17, 43 L.R.A.199; Odd Fellows. Savings Bank v.Brander (1899) 124 Cal.255,56 Pas.1109; Oursler v.Thatcher (1908) 152 Cal. 739,93 Pac.1007; Skookum 011 Co. v. Thomas (1912) 162 Cal.539,123 Fac. 363; Smith v. Post(1914) 167 Cal. 69,138 Pao, 705; Cross v. Mayo(1914) 167 Cal.594,140 Pac 283; Schwerin Estate Realty Co.v.Slye(1916)173 Cal. 170,159 Pac. 420; Heden v. Point Reyes Land Co.(1921)i85 Cal.121, 196 Pac.44; Tomboy Gold etc.Co. v. Marks (1921)185 Cal. 336,197 Pae. 94; Fresno Irrig.Farms Co. T. Campis (1918)39 Cal. App.184,178 Pac. 300,37 Cal.App. Dec.22; 8 California Law Review, 62; 1l California Law Review, 286; Brom v. Chowchilla Land Co. (1922)39 Cal.App. Dec. 133, 59 Cal.App. 164,210 Pac.424.
(2) (1910)158 Cal. 290,110 Pac. 947,139 Am.St.Rep. 126.
rely upon the condition precedent. (3)
The effect of these decisions
is that, although provisions making time of the essence are strictly
enforced in California, practically the result is much the same as in
jurisdictions which take the view that time cannot be made strictly
of the essence.
But the difficulty with this state of the law is that
there must always be cases where it is doubtful whether or no the
vendor has done enough to come withit the contemplation of the raiver"
(4) In the case of clifford v. Fleshman etc.)
the plaintiffs and
defendant's grantor entered into an installment contract for the sale
and purchase of real property. It was specifically provided in the con
tract that time wes to be of the essence and that *in the event of a
failure on the part of the buyer to keep or perform any of the terns,
(3) Stevinson T. Joy(1912)164 Cal.279,285,128 Pac.751; Myers v.Williams
(1916)173 Cal.301,159 Pac.982; Butte Creek Co.v. Olney(1916) 173 Cal.697,708,161 Pac.260; Hermosa Beach Land and Water Co.v. Law Credit Co.(1917)175 Cal.493,495,166 Pac.22; Karl V.Andrews(1919)29 Cal.App. Dec.462,42 Cal.App.513,183 Pac.838; Lemle v.Barry(1919) 181 Cal.1,183 Pac.150; 181 Cal.5,183 Pac.148; Newell v.E.B.& A.L.Stone Co.(1919) 181 Cal.388,184 Pac. 659,9 A.L.R.993; Hoppin v.lumsey (1921)185 Cal. 678,688,198 Pac.398; Kerr v.Reed (1921)787 Cal.409,202 Pac, 142; 1 California Law Review, 300; 8 California Law Review, 62; 11 Callifornia Law Review, 286; and see Browm v.Chowchilla Land Co., supra, n.l,where the parties agreed to waive the effect of conduct which would other
wise amoumt to a waver of the forfeiture. (4) (February 23, 1924)43 Cal.App.Dec. 485.