Enforceable and contract laws             

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 Introduction

All contracts have basic elements and can turn out to be unenforceable if one of the basic element is inadequate or absent. These basic elements are:

  • Offer by one party
  • Unconditional acceptance by the other party
  • Intention of creating legal relationship
  • Valid consideration

In addition, for a contract to be enforceable, contract terms have to be sufficiently certain with no ambiguity. If the contract terms are vague or is just written simply as an agreement to agree on terms that are not clearly established, then the contract cannot be enforced. In addition, the contracts with illegal subject matter cannot also be enforced.

Offer

For contract acceptance to occur an offer has to be made and this has to be a clearly communicated offer of entering into a contract. For example, where the offeror of the contact signed a standard and set of pre-printed

 Enforceable and contract laws

contractual terms with indication to the other party that he also has to sign the document if he want to proceed. If the document is clear and had no ambiguity, then it is enforceable when it has been signed by offeree and offeror. A statement of invitation to negotiate contractual terms cannot be deemed to be an offer. In addition, advertisement with no promissory results or effects cannot be enforced. Moreover, if the contract has not been accepted the person to whom the offer was made, the offeror of the contract can withdraw it. Furthermore, the offer is made subject to time limit. Any offer with no time limit cannot be enforced.

Acceptance

Acceptance of the offer can be through conduct or words that are either written or spoken. An example of conduct acceptance is where estate agent has offered to sell real estate properties on certain conditions and terms. The property seller does not say with terms that are certain that I offer you a contract. He only goes to the office of the agent and present him with all the required property particulars and in some cases even help the agent in preparation of marketing materials. This informed consent allows that agent to go ahead in marketing of the property. In such cases, the court will definitely judge that the owner of the property accepted the offer made by the agent and therefore, the contract will be enforced. In overall, offeree has to clearly communicate with certainty his intention of accepting the offer.

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Intent of creating a legal relationship

In many of commercial cases, law courts makes presumption that parties involved in the contract had an intent of creating a legal relationship. However there are some exceptions to the arrangement and this include heads of terms (what the parties have proposed is no binding) or letter of intent. Many social and domestic agreements are in most cases found not to have intended to create a legal relationship by the court. For example if two students staying in the same flat room agrees that one will be cooking and the other will be washing utensils, the court will  likely find that the two students had no intention of creating a legal relationship.

Consideration.

For a contract to be enforceable there must be consideration that is bargained for exchange and the consideration does not have to meet any form of test to determine its adequacy. For the lease contract of a property for example, a single peppercorn can be used as a valid consideration. However, there must be agreement by the concerned parties to execute what the contract entails after it has been formed. If or example you were given one acre of land as a gift by tour friend three years ago, and now you enter into a contract with him to construct a food store, that one acre of land cannot be a valid consideration or him and therefore. You will have to throw in a peppercorn. On the other hand, written contracts that are executed as deed don’t have to be supported by consideration.in such contracts the concerned parties are deemed to have complied to certain signing formalities especially that the individual signing has to be witnessed.

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  1. a) Advise Naiker whether there is an enforceable contract or not

In this case, where we are presents with a case of Naiker has recently developed an interest in playing the piano and wanted to buy a piano so that he could learn it. He receives a letter of offer from Ahmad who has offered to sell him a piano at £2500.  However, the letter of offer is received is received when it is late because of the strike of postal workers. Naiker post back the letter of acceptance but since Ahmad did not receive the reply from on time, he decided to sell it to another person as believed he was no longer interested. This contract cannot be enforced because of the following reason:

Offer made

There was no contract in the first place because the offer made was not clearly communicated. The offeror (Ahmad) of the contact did not sign a standard and set of pre-printed contractual terms with indication to the other party (Naiker) that he also has to sign the document if he want to proceed. Documents from Ahmad was ambiguous and therefore, it cannot be enforced since offeree and offeror never signed it. Ahmed statement of invitation to negotiate contractual terms cannot to deemed to be an offer and therefore, even though Naiker accepted the statement, this is not legally binding in the court of law. In addition, this was a kind of an advertisement with no promissory results or effects and therefore, it cannot be e enforced. Moreover, even if it was an offer, since it was not accepted by the person (Naiker) to whom the offer was made, the offeror (Ahmad) of the contract can withdraw it. Furthermore, the offer is made subject to time limit and this offer if we have to call it an offer was not time bound and therefore, it cannot be enforced.

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Acceptance

Although Naiker accepts this offer by writing, he is doing so when the offer has already been withdrawn and piano sold to another person. Since the offer has already been withdrawn, even the other processes are okay it cannot be enforced. This informed consent allows that agent to go ahead in marketing of the property. In such cases, the court will definitely judge that the owner of the piano did is not legally bound as the offeree accepted the offer when it had already been withdrawn and therefore, the contract will not be enforced.  Although the offeree did communicate clearly with certainty his intention of accepting the offer it cannot be enforced as the purported offer was not time bound and had already been withdrawn by the time he accepted it.

Intent on creating a legal relationship

In this case, there was no contract in the first place and therefore, the presumption that parties involved in the contract had an intent of creating a legal relationship is not there at all. In addition, Ahmad is not contractually obliged to honour the contract since what he sent to Naiker was kind of an invitation or letter of intent as to whether he interested in buying the piano or not.

Consideration.

There is no contract in the first place and therefore, what is there cannot be enforced, as there is no consideration that is bargained for exchange. There is no agreement by the concerned parties to execute what the contract entails after it has been formed. In addition, there is no written contract between the two parties that are involved and therefore it cannot be executed as deed and cannot be enforced by law. Furthermore, in this case, the concerned parties deemed not to have complied to certain signing formalities especially that the individual signing has to be witnessed.

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  1. b) Advise Ahmad whether he has any claim against Emerald Concert Hall in contract law or not

In this second case, we are presented with Ahmad an accomplished pianist who usually organises concerts and plays the piano in these concerts. As usual, he had booked the Emerald Concert Hall for his concert. However, just one day before the concert Emerald Concert Hall was struck by lightning and the entire concert hall was burnt down. Ahmad had to cancel the concert and refund all the money paid by the audience. The fire has also destroyed his piano, which was brought to the Emerald Concert hall two days before the concert. In this case, Ahmad either can have claim or

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will not have a claim based on the terms of the contract. If for example the contract covered for compensation of any damage that will happen in emerald concert hall either natural or artificial, then he has a right to claim for compensation of all the damages that his has incurred including his pianos that were destroyed by lightning.

In addition, if the owner’s of emerald have insurance cover for compensation any damage that will happen in the concert hall either for properties owned by emerald or musicians performing there, then Ahmad will be legally be right to seek compensation from Emerald that will be paid by insurance cover. However, if the terms of the contract did not specify that any damage done on Ahmad’s instrument will be compensated, then Ahmad may not have any claim on Emerald concert hall since there is no party that  contractual or legally obliged to compensate him for the loses that he has incurred. In addition, this was a natural disaster, which the owners of the concert hall had not direct control over

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