Statute of Frauds

Have you ever heard the term Statute of Frauds? Did you immediately get confused and did your eyes glaze over? Does the idea of contracts scare you? Is all of this confusing language stopping you from buying a home?

Well, fear no more. Assisting Renters is here to help you understand what Statute of Frauds means and help dispel the fear of contracts. 

Statute of Frauds ‘refers to the requirement that certain kinds of contracts be memorialized in writing, signed by the party to be charged, with sufficient content to evidence the contract.’ This simply means that an oral agreement may not be good enough for all situations and that some situations require that a contract be drafted in writing and agreed on by both parties.

See, that wasn't so scary, was it? Now, let's dive into why contracts aren't so scary as we think.

Contract refers to 'a written or spoken agreement, especially one concerning employment, sales, or tenancy, that is intended to be enforceable by law.' Contracts are meant to protect us, not harm us. If done correctly, they will protect both parties.

Contracts are important because putting an agreement into writing helps prevent more conflict when there is an existing disagreement. The idea is that written contracts are more reliable than oral agreements, since people can refer back to a written document. 

 There are several different types of contracts including:

  • Contracts for the transfer or sale of land
  • Contracts for items being sold over $500
  • Contracts that cannot be completed within a year of signing
  • Contracts related to marriage
  • Contracts involving an agreement to pay another person’s debt
  • Contracts that will continue after the person performing the contract passes away

If you're about to sign a renter's contract or a housing contract, make sure you read over it very carefully so that you understand what you're signing up for. If you have access to a lawyer or a friend, have them read it over with you so that you can fully understand the terms of your agreement.

Contracts have a long history of being confusing and stressful, but they don't have to be! As long as both parties agree to the terms and each party fulfills their duties as stated in the contract, the contract will be completed. The problem comes in when people don't fulfill their duties because they didn't know what they were signing up for or their situation changed and they can't afford what they signed up for. Either way, communication is key and your contract should be a simple as possible and written in a language that both parties understand.

Having a contract drafted in written form and notarized by a third party will save you from these situations and could even provide you with monetary gain! So, whenever possible, have a lawyer or friend read over your contracts or draft up a contract yourself. You never know, it could save you!

If you need to draft up a contract, learn how to do that here: