Updated on June 29, 2021
The Statute of Frauds, California Civil Code section 1624, requires certain contracts to be in writing to be enforceable. Under the statute, contracts for the sale, gift, or financing of real property must be memorialized in a writing that satisfies the statute of frauds.
There may be limited instances where an agreement will be enforced despite the lack of a writing that satisfies the statute of frauds in real estate.
For example, the doctrine of part performance may permit the enforcement of an oral agreement for the sale of property that is not accompanied by a valid writing. There are specific requirements on what the buyer must do, however. In reliance on the oral agreement, the buyer must have taken possession of the property and made a full or partial payment of the purchase price, or made valuable and substantial improvements to the property. It is not enough for the buyer to show that he or she has paid the purchase price of the property; there must be sufficient part performance of the parties’ oral agreement to remove it from the purview of the statute of frauds.
The statute of frauds covers a wide range of contracts involving real property and its impact may be significant—it may be the very issue that causes a litigant to win or lose one’s case. Therefore, an analysis of the statute of frauds is virtually always required when analyzing an agreement involving real property.
Schorr Law’s Real Estate Fraud Attorneys in Los Angeles is experienced in dealing in real property disputes, including issues that may arise from the statute of frauds. To schedule a consultation, please contact real estate lawyers in Los Angeles by phone, email, or through our contact form.