Jacksonville, FL asked in Real Estate Law for Florida

Q: Is there anything i can do if a friend goes back on a verbal agreement made 3 yrs. ago with purchasing property

I made a verbal agreement on purchasing a friends real property by taking over mortgage payments of said property . He assured me the property was mine as long as i made the monthly mortgage payments which i did . I also made improvements on the property throughout the last 3 yrs. , gave extra money in larger amounts around the beginning of each year . I have text conversations providing the verbal information to be accurate .

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In situations where a friend reneges on a verbal agreement regarding property purchase, especially after you've fulfilled your part of the deal for years, you do have potential legal recourse. The fact that you made mortgage payments and improvements to the property, along with having text messages that corroborate the agreement, strengthens your position.

Verbal agreements can be legally binding, although proving the terms and enforcing them, particularly with real estate transactions, can be challenging due to the Statute of Frauds, which generally requires such agreements to be in writing to be enforceable. However, your contributions to the mortgage and property improvements, coupled with written evidence of the agreement, could potentially be used to argue that an enforceable contract existed or to seek a remedy under the principles of equity, such as unjust enrichment or promissory estoppel.

It's important to gather all evidence of the agreement and your contributions to the property. Then, consult with an attorney who can assess the specifics of your situation. They can advise on the best course of action, whether it's negotiating a resolution with the friend or pursuing legal action to enforce the agreement or seek compensation for your investments in the property.

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