A member asked almost 9 years ago

Obligation to pay more under contract than realised

I signed a contract thinking I had to pay one amount of money, but it turns out I actually have to pay much more. Do I have to pay the higher amount if it was an honest mistake?

Daniel Meyerowitz Katz
Barrister at NSW Bar

It is impossible to give you any meaningful advice without more information, but in general terms, it depends on what led to you to believe that you had to pay the lower amount. If it was your own carelessness in failing to read the contract properly, then most likely you will have to pay.


If the other party said or did anything to make you believe that you had to pay less than what was actually provided in the contract, or if they knew that you were under the wrong impression but did nothing to correct your understanding, then you may have a remedy in law. In that case, you should go and see a solicitor and talk through the situation.

Answered almost 9 years ago   Legal disclaimer

Brennan Ong Wai Kaey Soon Nicholas Stewart
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Steven Brown

It will also depend whether your contract is a consumer contract for the purposes of section 23 of the Australian Consumer Law, Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth). If the contract is a consumer contract, and the term is unfair within the meaning of section 24, then you can apply to the court to have the term declared void (i.e. of no force and effect.) Having the term declared void is a powerful and relatively (for court processes) inexpensive exercise.

almost 9 years ago

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