The law related to verbal agreements states that they are legally binding if they are made with the intentions of being reasonable and equitable. In most cases, you would probably use a written document to lay out the terms of an agreement or contract. You may even have it signed and witnessed by a notary public. However, the law states that you don’t have to do this in most situations if you have created a verbal agreement.
Verbal Agreements Are Not As Enforceable
While the law does look at verbal agreements as being legally binding, they provide many more difficulties when it comes time to enforce them. If you have a written contract, you can clearly see all of the terms that need to be executed by the parties who are involved.
By having an agreement written down and witnessed by a notary public, it makes it easier to see which items need to be followed. In addition, it also makes it easier to change any defects that are associated with the agreement.
This differs from a verbal agreement or oral contract that is made between two parties. If one of those parties has the intention of not following the terms, it would be difficult for one party to make the other party follow the legally binding agreement.
Making A Legally Binding Verbal Agreement
While making a legally binding verbal agreement is a valid way to complete a contract, it may be difficult to enforce if you end up in court. You should discuss enforceability with the other party before agreeing to this type of contract, and it should include these elements:
– Both parties have a mutual understanding and consent related to the verbal agreement. For example, if you hire a landscaping company to mow your lawn, both you and the landscaping company understand that your verbal agreement includes the front lawn, back lawn and strip of grass that is between the sidewalk and street.
– An offer is made and accepted. The verbal agreement that is being made has the elements of an offer that is being accepted by the other party. There will be certain conditions associated with the verbal agreement being made.
– There is a mutual consideration between both parties. This means that there will be some type of exchange related to services, valuable goods or rights. For example, if you own a piece of property in a wooded area, you may give hunting rights to an individual that require them to pay you $10 and only take three pheasants away from your hunting grounds.
– There is performance between both parties. When this is involved in a verbal agreement it means that certain duties must be performed between both parties in addition to the mutual consideration made between them.
– The agreement is made in good faith. When this is included in a verbal agreement, it means that both parties should not try to cheat one another. They should both follow their end of the agreement.
Written Versus Verbal Agreements
It’s easy to see why a verbal agreement would be more difficult to prove in a court of law if it were to be breached by one of the parties involved. This is one of the main reasons why some jurisdictions do not allow you to use a verbal agreement when you are creating certain types of contracts. The best example of this is when real estate is involved.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!