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Patel v Ali [1984] 1 All ER 978

Mr and Mrs Patel contracted to sell their house to Mr Ali. Completion of the sale was delayed by Mr Patel’s bankruptcy. At the time that they agreed to sell, Mrs Patel was healthy and had one child. However, during the delay, Mrs Patel contracted bone cancer and had to have a leg amputated. She also had to further children and she became heavily reliant on friends and neighbours to assist her with day to day activities. Mr Ali sought specific performance of the contract.


Specific performance was denied on the grounds that it would cause hardship on Mrs Patel if she was required to move out. Whilst the hardship was not the fault of Mr Ali, Goulding J held that it would be ‘hardship amounting to injustice’ if specific performance was ordered.

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