Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Does the Statute of Frauds apply? - Selling of real estate vs. lease contract

STATUTE OF FRAUDS: Contract for sale of real property vs. lease contract While a contract for the sale of real property becomes invalid under the statute of frauds if there is an invalid legal description of the property, see Jones v. Kelley, 614 S.W.2d 95, 99 (Tex. 1981); Republic Nat'l Bank of Dallas v. Stetson, 390 S.W.2d 257, 261 (Tex. 1965); Nguyen v. Yovan, 317 S.W.3d 261, 267 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 2009, pet. filed), a contract for the lease of the property does not necessarily become invalid under the same circumstances. Rather, when a contract for the lease of property is ambiguous, extraneous evidence is admissible to determine the meaning of the contract. See Towers of Tex., Inc. v. J & J Sys., Inc., 834 S.W.2d 1, 2 (Tex. 1992) (trial court did not err in deeming property description in lease ambiguous and considering further evidence to resolve the issue); United Interests, Inc. v. Brewington, Inc., 729 S.W.2d 897, 903 (Tex. App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1987, writ ref'd n.r.e.) (trial court did not err in determining that certain paragraphs in sublease were ambiguous and then admitting parole evidence to determine parties' intent). SOURCE: Austin Court of Appeals - 03-09-00713-CV - 6/3/11 RELATED LEGAL CONCEPTS: admissibility of parol evidence, extraneous extrinsic evidence, testimony

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