In the world of legal contracts, both written and oral agreements can be seen as valid. However, when it comes to oral agreements, there are certain factors that need to be taken into consideration. In this article, we will discuss the concept of an oral agreement in the law of contract, the types of oral agreements, their enforceability, and how they should be approached.
What is an Oral Agreement in the Law of Contract?
An oral agreement is a verbal agreement that has been entered into by two or more parties. It is a promise made between parties that is not recorded in writing but is instead agreed upon through spoken words. In the law of contract, an oral agreement is just as legally binding as a written agreement.
Types of Oral Agreements
Oral agreements can be of two types, express or implied. Express oral agreements are those that are spoken and agreed upon by both parties in clear terms. Implied oral agreements, on the other hand, are those that are not explicitly stated but can be inferred from the actions or conduct of the parties involved.
For example, if a homeowner hires a contractor to renovate their kitchen, but no specific timeline is discussed, and the contractor begins work immediately, then an implied oral agreement has been created, where both parties have agreed that the work will be carried out as soon as possible.
Enforceability of Oral Agreements
The enforceability of an oral agreement can depend on a number of factors, including the jurisdiction, the complexity of the agreement, and whether the parties involved can prove the terms of the agreement. In some jurisdictions, oral agreements are not enforceable, and all contracts must be in writing.
However, if an oral agreement is enforceable in a particular jurisdiction, it must meet the same criteria as a written agreement. The most important factor is that the terms of the agreement must be clear and unambiguous. If there is any doubt about the terms of the agreement, it becomes difficult to enforce.
Approaching Oral Agreements
Due to the fact that oral agreements can be difficult to enforce, it is always advisable to have any important agreement in writing, with all parties signing. However, this may not always be possible, especially in informal settings.
In such cases, parties should ensure that the terms of the agreement are clear and that the agreed-upon terms are understood by all parties involved. It may also be beneficial to have a witness present who can testify to the terms of the agreement if the need arises.
In conclusion, oral agreements are a valid form of contract, but they can be challenging to enforce. It is important for parties involved in oral agreements to ensure that the terms of the agreement are clear, unambiguous, and understood by all parties. It is always advisable to have important agreements in writing, but in cases where this is not possible, parties should approach oral agreements with caution to avoid any misunderstandings or legal issues.