A contract is a formal agreement between two or more parties on a specific matter. There is a wide range of contracts in the society. For example, there are contracts on sale of property, possession of property, and resolution of certain differences among others. From the perspective of law, a contract is only enforceable if it bears certain elements (Jalil, 2011). Some of the elements include common consent. This is also referred to as 'meeting of the minds.' It requires that both parties to the contract mutually agree on what the contract entails. Also, a contract should have an offer (s) and acceptance. This implies that one party should offer something that they other party accepts. Acceptance of the offer makes a contract binding.
Additionally, a contract is enforceable if the parties involved have a mutual consideration. This implies that concerned parties exchange something valuable. Furthermore, a contract is valid when it has been performed or completed. Services involved in it should be delivered to the concerned parties. Failure to perform the duties stipulated in the contract results in a breach of contract.
Some of the elements vital in enforcement of any contract include performing in good faith. Here, the parties to the contract must act in good faith. Moreover, their contract should not go against the community's guiding principles. A contract should also be presented in a written form. Only oral contracts that can be explicitly proven in court are considered valid. The agreement between Betty and Art is a valid contract given that it meets all the above requirements.
Furthermore, Art's failure to build Betty a barn is a breach of contract they had both entered. John is liable to pay the damages he has imposed on Betty; the $10, 500 he intended to use in purchasing the supplies used in construction. Therefore, Betty is entitled to certain damages including the deposits she gave to Art. In addition Betty has suffered a loss of time since Art ad promised to complete the structure not later than January 1, 2005. She should have contracted someone else if Art had notified her of his departure in advance. Another damage involved in the contract between Art and Betty is convenience. Explicitly, Betty' plan on the use of the barn are spoiled due to Art's abrupt withdrawal from the contract. Therefore, Art is liable for the damages he implicated on Betty's plan. The fact that Art took long to purchase the supplies shows a lack of commitment to the contract. Art should have instead delegated the responsibility to some else or inform Betty about it. Instead, he wasted time till March when the prices had risen.
Under this contract, Betty has a right to have the barn built within the agreed period. She also has a right prior notification of Art's departure in time. Moreover, Betty has a right to receive the services under the contract. Therefore, she is liable to recover all the damages caused by Art because the contract bears all the elements necessary for a contract to be enforced.
On the other hand, the contract between Betty and John is not enforceable because of the following reasons. First, the contract does not have a mutual consideration. In fact, John only offers to construct the barn for free. For it to be hold, the contract should have both parties exchanging valuable things. In this scenario, it is only Betty that is to achieve something valuable. John's estate is not required to compensate Betty in any way.
Secondly, the contract is made orally between the two parties. For a contract to be legally binding, it should have a written document signed by both parties. However, there is a provision for the enforcement of any contract made orally if it either parties can prove to the court that it took place. In Betty's case, there is no proof that the contract was made between her and John. It is true that it was made but John is nowhere to affirm that in court. Therefore, the estate is not obliged to compensate Betty whatsoever.
Furthermore, this contract is null and void in that it does not contain the element of performance. Due to his death, John is unable to perform his duties hence the estate is not liable to pay Betty any damages she claims. More so, the contract is unenforceable because there is no proof that John was not acting in good faith when he offered to construct Betty a barn. Given that Betty is John's favorite niece, there is no doubt that he was serious about building her a barn free of charge. Nevertheless, it is inappropriate to establish that the estate should compensate Betty on the same grounds.
In addition, the contract is invalid as it seems the two parties had no agreement on the contract. The contract between Betty and John was simply based on any legal element. John offered to build the barn under informal circumstances. Therefore, Betty is not entitled to any compensation from John's estate. Nevertheless, Betty suffered a loss since she has to look for another contractor.
In conclusion, the contract between Betty and John is enforceable since it bears the necessary elements. Therefore, Betty is liable to recover damages from John. On the other hand, the contract between Betty and John is invalid since it is not based on the required elements of a contract. Hence, she is not entitled to any compensation from the estate.