Charlotte, NC asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Landlord - Tenant for New York

Q: I guess the question is, how in any way could a contract, lease, agreement, etc. be enforceable if it wasn't signed?

2 Lawyer Answers
Carl Nelson
Carl Nelson
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Rye Brook, NY

A: Contracts generally do not need to be in writing to be enforceable. Certain types of contracts do, such as those for the sale of real property or leases for periods of more than year. But unless excepted from the “statute of frauds” which requires certain agreements to be memorialized in writing, verbal agreements are just as enforceable as written ones—sometimes the issue becomes one of “proof,” since terms in writing can be easier to prove than those spoken.

Steven Warren Smollens agrees with this answer

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Unless there is evidence of performance evidence of ratification change in circumstances due to the unsigned contract it is pretty hard to prove that a written paper that is not ratified with a signature is a contract, especially when there is no evidence of consideration.

An oral lease is valid but only if the lease is for a period not more than one year.

Why not describe your problem?

Read about the Statute of Frauds at

Carl Nelson and Daniel Michael Luisi agree with this answer

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