How Can I Tell if My Sales Contract is Null and Void?

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“Is there a Florida law that states that a contract for a new, to-be-built home is null and void if the sales company did not provide me with a copy after I signed it? Also, is the contract null and void if, after the contract was executed, I did not receive a copy of the community or HOA by-laws within 72 hours? I am trying to get back my $500 earnest money deposit which the company is saying is bound to them by the contract I signed. If the contract is null and void, where can I find it in writing or print to present them with such laws? Thanks!”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

You would need to check with a Florida property attorney, however generally speaking, there are three elements that are required to make a contract binding: offer, acceptance, and consideration. Consideration is essentially the thing that each side gives up to the other – so for example in the sale of a home, the buyer’s consideration is the money that they are giving to the seller, and the seller’s consideration is the house which they are giving to the buyer. It’s important to understand that refusal to accept the other party’s consideration does not make the contract void (rather it makes for a lawsuit in which the court is likely to enforce the contract).

Contracts may either be void, or voidable (meaning it isn’t void, but steps can be taken to render it void) if any of those elements are missing, or in other certain specific situations (one of the parties is a minor, for example).

It seems unlikely in the scenario you have outlined that the contract would be either void or voidable but, again, check with an attorney in Florida.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.