Tag Archives: contract

Contract form of Agreement

Ending an agreement

Over the course of your life you are bound to enter into more agreements than you’d probably care to think about. These agreements may be printed or electronic, express or tacit, written or verbal. When entering into an agreement, how often do you ask, “How will this end?” Probably not often. Yet it’s an important consideration. The best time to consider the end of an agreement is not at its end, but actually at its beginning. And the best way to agree on a contract’s termination conditions is in writing.

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Is a verbal agreement binding?

How effective is a verbal agreement? Is it binding? A lot of businessmen and women enter into verbal contracts without being entirely sure whether they’re valid, or how effective the contract is.

In general, South African law recognises verbal agreements. There are some exceptions to this. For example, a sale of property needs to be in writing, as does an ante-nuptial agreement. But unless there’s a statutory provision that says otherwise, oral agreements are, in theory, just as binding as written ones. In theory. The problem is that verbal agreements come with a lot of, well, problems.

Why Written is Wiser – Part I

‘Twas not so long ago that a man’s word could be irrefutably trusted, a business transaction was reliably sealed with a solid, spittle-encrusted handshake, and honour was revered. Of course, it’s somehow so much easier to keep to the promises you made over a late-night game of poker when breaking your ale-infused word would result in a duel to the death at dawn or pistols at twenty paces. The law was so much simpler when “you break the contract, I break you” was a perfectly acceptable consequence of repudiation.