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I do not understand why the clause "time is of the essence" would be necessary? If a contract states that something needs to be done on a certain date, isn't it clearly a violation if that is not done? For example "the repair man will fix the alarm system by February 1st." and he hasn't, why wouldn't this be a violation of the contract?

Is it that "time is of the essence" means it's a material violation, and not a non-material violation?

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It would be a violation of the contract and you could sue for damages; but you would not be entitled to terminate the contract unless the guy was unreasonably late. If he does it on February 2 your damages would be ... $1.99? Maybe?

However, "time is of the essence" makes time a term of the contract, rather than a warranty. If he doesn't do it by Friday you can terminate the contract. Oh, and sue for damages which could include the difference in price charged by the next repair man.

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