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Frances’ lease expires on May 1. She makes an oral contract with Frank to purchase his house at
$100,000, with the transfer of the deed taking place on June 1. Frank’s lawyer is to draft the
contract on May 15. Frank agrees to give Frances possession of the house for a down payment of
$5000 since her lease is terminating. She gives frank the $5000 and moves in on May 2. She
plants trees the following weekend in the backyard. On May 10, Frank accepted a written offer
of $120,000 for selling the house to Green. Frank asks Frances to move out and tries to return the
$5000 to her.
Is the oral contract made between Frank and Frances enforceable under the statute of fraud?
Under the statute of fraud, certain contracts must be in writing for them to be termed enforceable.
The contract for the sale of lands, and real estate in general, must be made in writing to be
termed enforceable. There are, however, exceptions to the application of the statute of fraud in
matters of real estate. The major exception is the part performance exception. Some of the
features of part performance include; when the buyer has paid part or all of the consideration
required and when the buyer is already in possession of the property. Other features of part
performance include; when the buyer has made valuable and permanent improvements to the
property and when facts exist as would make the transaction fraud on the buyer if the contract is
not enforced. Part performance is only an exception to the statute of frauds where the b…
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