You want to buy a house. You sign the contract. You pay the deposit. All the conditions are met. You reach settlement day. Your lawyer pays the money over to the vendor's solicitor before the deadline stated in the contract. However, a technical glitch means that the vendor doesn't receive notice that the money has been paid until after the deadline has passed. Surely that doesn't matter? Well, it did in the recent Supreme Court case of Larsen v Rick Dees Ltd  3 NZLR 577, where the Court upheld the vendor’s cancellation of contracts for the sale of real estate. This article, published in (2008) 14 NZBLQ 37, analyses the Court’s reasoning in support of this harsh result. It questions the basis for finding that the purchaser had breached an essential obligation to make the vendor aware of the payment and argues that the contrary conclusion could easily have been justified.