Is alease taken over the phone with a credit cardnumber a binding agreement?

UPDATED: Jan 12, 2012

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Is alease taken over the phone with a credit cardnumber a binding agreement?

I took a contract for rental of our facility. We did it over the phone because the lady said she couldn’t get over to meet. She gave me a credit card number for the cost of the rental. I ran the card and wrote up a contact which a copy was mailed to her with her receipt and a copy of the contract to sign. She never sent it back. 5 months later she calls and says she wants to cancel and wants all her money back. She said she never signed the contract so it’s not a contract. I feel that giving me the credit card number makes it a binding agreement. In the contract it states no refund.

Asked on January 12, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A signature is not magic--it is not always necessary to create a binding contract. A contract is created when there is an offer by one party, acceptance by the other party, and some consideration--either something of value, or a promise of something of value (like payment) to find the contract. Contracts can be purely oral; they can be very formal and written; or they can be anything in between. Based on what you have written, there would seem to have been a binding contract formed: there was an offer, an exchange of consideration, and evidence of the acceptance of that offer. In this case, it seem that you do not owe her the money back, if the contract specified there was no refund.

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