Can an email be considered a legal document?

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Can an email be considered a legal document?

The property that I live on exchanged ownership. The lease from the prior owner expired 1at the end of last month. Mid-month I corresponded with the new owner via email regarding terms of the new lease. He said that the rent was going to increase which I agreed upon. In anticipation of having the new lease prior to the end of the month, I mailed the rent check to him at the new amount. He still has not delivered the new lease and it is the 11th. of this month. All correspondence regarding the rent increase was done via email. Can the email be considered a legal document or am I still legally bound to the old lease in regards to rent?

Asked on November 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, email can be considered a legal document. All that is necessary to create an enforceable agreement is an offer (such as the owner's offer to rent to you for an increase in rent); acceptance of that offer (such as your acceptance); and consideration, or something of value (such as the rent). As long as there are these elements, an agreement can be formed by oral/verbal discussions, or by any writings, including emails--there is no need for a formal "lease."


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