Verbal Agreement Law in Australia: What You Need to Know
Verbal agreements, or agreements made based on spoken words, are common in many transactions in Australia. However, unlike written agreements, verbal agreements can be difficult to enforce due to their informal nature. In this article, we will discuss the laws surrounding verbal agreements in Australia and what you need to know when making one.
What is a Verbal Agreement?
A verbal agreement, also known as an oral agreement, is a type of agreement that is made entirely based on spoken words. Unlike written agreements, verbal agreements are not documented on paper and do not require signatures. Verbal agreements are often made between friends, family members, colleagues, or business partners.
Are Verbal Agreements Legally Binding in Australia?
Yes, verbal agreements are legally binding in Australia. However, as verbal agreements are not documented on paper, they can be difficult to prove in court. This is especially true if there was no witness to the agreement, and no evidence of the agreement exists. Therefore, it is always advisable to have a written agreement in place to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes in the future.
Enforcing a Verbal Agreement in Australia
If you have entered into a verbal agreement and the other party does not fulfill their obligations, you may be able to take legal action. However, proving the existence and terms of the agreement can be challenging. In order to enforce a verbal agreement in Australia, you will need to provide evidence that the agreement was made and the terms of the agreement.
Here are some steps you can take to strengthen your case:
1. Keep records: If the verbal agreement was made in a business context, keep any records that relate to the agreement, such as emails or notes.
2. Obtain a witness: If possible, have a witness present when the verbal agreement is being made, and have them sign a statement confirming the terms of the agreement.
3. Get legal advice: Speak to a lawyer who specializes in contract law to discuss your options and whether you have a strong case.
In conclusion, verbal agreements are legally binding in Australia. However, they can be difficult to enforce due to their informal nature. If you are entering into a verbal agreement, it is always best to have a written agreement in place to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes in the future. If you do enter into a verbal agreement, take steps to keep records, obtain a witness, and seek legal advice if necessary. By doing so, you can increase your chances of successfully enforcing the agreement in the event of a breach.