What to do about a contract dispute?y HOA signed a contract with a trash company

My HOA signed a contract with a trash company which had a lot of blanks that were filled in by hand (rate, address, etc.). In the main contract language the HOA manager added a clause hand written in and initialed it. When I asked the trash company to send me the contract they sent it to me in PDF and it includes all mentioned above. They are now saying that the clause that was hand written in is not valid because they did not initial it. I contend that there are lots of things hand written in. The final signed version has that clause and it was the one that they had as the final version so its not like we had that version and they had a version without it.

Asked on October 24, 2013 under Business Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if the hand-written clause that is in dispute was added prior to the trash company  signing the contract, it is part of the contract and ennforceable; if it was added after they had otherwise  signed the agreement, then it would only be enforceable if they separately initialled it, to show agreement thereto. If the HOA and they disagree as to when/how it was added or signed, the disagreement can only be resolved in court, in a lawsuit, such as one seeking damages (monetary compenstion) for an asserted breach of the  contract, or declaratory relief (a court declaration) determining whether that clause is enforceable or not.

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