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quality

an implied term in contracts of sale and supply. The Sale of Goods Act 1979, as amended by the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994, provides for certain implied terms in contracts for sale of goods and other supply of goods such as hire-purchase, hire and barter. The importance of the implication of these terms is that if they are not complied with, the purchaser has a right to sue; this allows it to be said that the Act gives buyer's rights.

The general rule is caveat emptor, ‘let the buyer beware’. Thus, except for the implied terms in the Act, there are no implied terms. Thus, a sale between two private individuals for private purposes will not be subject to any implied quality terms. Terms are implied where there is a sale in the course of a business. Goods must be of satisfactory quality. Goods are satisfactory only if they meet the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking account of the description of the goods, the price and the other circumstances. Statutory examples of that are that the goods be fit for all common purposes for which the goods in question are commonly supplied; that their appearance and finish be satisfactory; that the goods be free from minor defects; that they be safe; and that they should be durable. These do not apply, however, where the goods have been examined or the defects pointed out. It should also be appreciated that if there is a breach in a consumer contract, the buyer is allowed to reject the goods; in other sales the breach will have to be material. Goods must be reasonably fit for any specified purpose. So even satisfactory goods may still be supplied in breach of contract if a more stringent standard was clearly intended.

Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

QUALITY, persons. The state or condition of a person.
     2. Two contrary qualities cannot be in the same person at the same time. Dig. 41, 10, 4.
     3. Every one is presumed to know the quality of the person with whom he is contracting.
     4. In the United States, the people happily are all upon an equality in their civil and political rights.

QUALITY, pleading. That which distinguishes one thing from another of the same kind.
     2. It is in general necessary, when the declaration alleges an injury to the goods and chattels, or any contract relating to them, that the quality should be stated and it is also essential, in an action for the recovery of real estate, that its quality should be shown; as, whether it consists of houses, lands, or other hereditaments, whether the lands are meadow, pasture or arable, &c. The same rule requires that, in an action for an injury to real property, the quality should be shown. Steph. Pl. 214, 215. Vide, as to the various qualities, Ayl. Pand. [60.]

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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