BUS 311 Business Law I
A good example of a contract that I have entered into is my rental agreement contract. I moved into my current apartment in 2016 during that time I signed a rental agreement with the apartment complex. It states in my agreement that I am responsible for paying the stated amount of $875 by the 1st of each month. I not only agreed to pay the specified amount, but I accepted that if I am late, I will have to pay the total amount of my rent plus $5 for each day I am late. There were several other terms that I had to agree to before I could obtain the apartment. Some of these terms are as followed; if I had a pet, I was to make a $50 deposit and pay $15 a month for pet rent. If I did not have a pet at the time of moving in, I was not to allow anyone to bring any pet to my apartment.
The contract also stated that I must use their internet provider I am not allowed to get a different provider for TV or internet. I had to use the energy company that they provided me with, and I had to have everything in my name before moving in. Another term was that I was not allowed to have anyone stay at my apartment longer than one week and all visitors must not park in the spaces by my apartment they must park in the visitor section of the lot. There was one major term that I was uncomfortable with, but I agreed to. The last term was that I was to give them a 30-day notice if I plan on moving out. If I wanted to move out before my lease was up, I either must pay the rent until they rent the apartment out to someone else or I have to pay $2,075 to break the lease.
The problem with my rental agreement came towards the beginning of this year. I, of course, resigned my lease agreement last year even though they increased the rent due to “market value.” However, my son was having serious problems at this public school that he was attending by my house, so I switched him to a private school that deals with autistic kids and it is 40 minutes away. I signed the agreement to either pay the $2,075 or pay rent until the apartment is rented out to someone else. Due to having to my son in a private school, I am trying to break the lease early so that I can move closer to his school. But since the contract is an enforceable contract, I cannot simply break the lease without having any consequences.
“A contract is a legally enforceable agreement. As this definition implies, a contract comes into existence from the voluntary assent of two or more individuals to enter into a legally binding agreement” (Rogers 2012 ch.4). Not all contracts are the same, but an enforceable agreement will have five essential elements that consist of offer, acceptance, consideration, legality, and capacity. An offer has to have a clear intent, reasonable terms and offers, and termination. Rogers (2012) says a general rule; an offeror has the right to make revocation of (cancel) the offer at any time before acceptance. In my example, the offer would be my lease agreement. “An offer should consist of: (1) a statement of present intent by the offering party to enter into a contract; (2) a specific proposal that is certain in its terms; and (3) a communication that identifies the person to whom the offer is made. If any of these elements are not present, an offer has not been made” (Ilovelibraries.org 2012). For example, my lease agreement is an offer made by the property manager to give me an apartment for a certain amount of rent with a minimal amount of terms to agree to.
“Acceptance of an offer is the clear manifestation of assent to the terms of the offer. For acceptance to be valid, it must be (1) made by a person to whom the offer was made, (2) unequivocal, and (3) communicated to the offeror. The first requirement is simple: only a person to whom an offer was made may accept it”(Rogers 2012 sec.4.3) In my case acceptance happened after I reviewed the agreement and agreed to go into contract with the property manager. Consideration basically means the price of the contract. When two things are being exchanged for something. In my case, the price would be the amount of the apartment and me agreeing to respect the terms. For the property manager, hers would be providing me with an apartment.
Capacity focus on how old a person is. If a minor agrees to a contract that contract can and will be voidable. Any persons under the age of 18 are considered a minor. A minor is allowed to exit an agreement without a breach. Capacity is irrelevant in my example because I am not a minor. When one party fails to uphold their end of the contract the other people may be able to claim that the contract has been breached. “A breach is material if, as a result of the breaching party’s failure to perform some aspect of the contract, the other party receives something substantially different from what the contract specified. A breach is minor if, even though the breaching party failed to perform some aspect of the contract, the other party still receives the item or service specified in the contract. When a breach is minor, the nonbreaching party is still required to perform under the contract but may recover damages resulting from the breach.” (JEC n.d para.3).
As far as my example goes of my leasing agreement I don’t believe I am able to breach my contract. Neither I nor the apartment complex failed to uphold our end of the contract. I willingly signed the form accepting to either pay the $2,075 to break the lease or to pay the rent until someone has moved in. There are many reasons why people might look into breaching their contract, and they may be able to do so. For example, I lived in this trailer back in 2012, and my landlord was absolutely terrible. He never fixed anything, and we repeatedly called in informing him that our ceiling was servilely leaking. Having a leaking ceiling during hurricane season is a serious problem especially when there is a child living in the home. The landlord failed to come out and fix up the roof and the next time a thunderstorm happened my roof caved in and there was a big hole flooding up our trailer. I was able to breach the contract that we signed due to the fact that the landlord failed to act accordingly. He did not come do what was promised on our signed agreement.
Ilovelibraries (2012) The Nuts and Bolts of an Enforceable Contract retrieved from http://www.ilovelibraries.org/article/nuts-and-bolts-enforceable-contract
Judicial Education Center (n.d) Breach of Contract retrieved from http://jec.unm.edu/education/online-training/contract-law-tutorial/breach-of-contract
Rogers, S. (2012). Essentials of business law. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
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