Contract law plays a vital role in our daily lives, even if we don’t realize it. A simple transaction at our local grocery store is a contract.
In areas such as business or real estate, the sums of money at stake can be much more significant, so watertight contracts become even more important. There are some factors that have the potential to invalidate contracts. These are discussed in greater detail below.
Parties to legal contracts are expected to act in good faith. What this means is that descriptions of items subjected to the contract must be accurate. For instance, if a house is sold on the basis that the structure is fundamentally sound, then the structure should be fundamentally sound. If it later turns out that there are structural problems, and the seller knew about them, this is misrepresentation and the contract could be void.
All parties to a contract must also enter the agreement voluntarily. Undue influence occurs when a person manipulates an individual into signing an agreement. This commonly occurs with elderly and vulnerable people, who may be taken advantage of by someone who has gotten close to them.
It’s important to note that not only elderly or vulnerable individuals can be manipulated into signing contracts. In some negotiations, one party has much more bargaining power and they may be in a position to threaten parties into signing documents.
If you wish to question the validity of a contract, then it is probably best to seek some legal guidance on the matter. This can help ensure that you don’t get tied into something that is manifestly unfair.