How to Revoke an Agreement

By Michael Martin
Read the contract before revoking an agreement.

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Revoking an agreement may mean one party terminates the contract because the other party fails to perform her respective duties under the agreement. It may also mean the legal circumstances surrounding the execution of the agreement warrant a revocation altogether. Terminating an agreement is not easy to do, as it potentially places you at risk for breach of contract and may cause legal consequences. Therefore, review your contract and decipher whether there are legal grounds to revoke the agreement.

Contact the other party and advise your intent to revoke the agreement. The other party may consent and freely let you out of the contract, in which case, the parties amicably agree to terminate the agreement. Follow up with a confirming letter that by mutual agreement, the contract is no longer in force.

Invoke a breach of contract. As an owner of a rental property, for instance, the landlord may terminate the lease if the tenant breaches the agreement. Examples of breaching a lease may include a failure to pay the rent, an unauthorized alteration of something inside the rental unit and an unauthorized sublease of the rental property.

Invoke the cooling off period. If, for example, an unsolicited salesman approaches your residence and sells you a product or service, a cooling off period remains in place for up to three days to terminate the contract. You may revoke the agreement within this time frame without liability for breach of contract.

Review for mutual mistake. This occurs when both contracting parties enter into an agreement with the understanding of certain facts, but after time, those facts become no longer true. Consequently, the contract is not capable of completion. The parties under these circumstances may terminate the agreement.

Review whether a contracting party lacked the capacity to enter into an agreement. If the seller knew or should have known the other person lacked the capacity to sign the contract and the person who lacked the capacity can return the majority of the goods or services, then the contract may be revoked, as long as it's within a reasonable amount of time.

Consult an attorney if you have questions about how to revoke or terminate an agreement.

About the Author

Michael Martin began writing professionally in 2008. He has more than 10 years of experience in the insurance industry and primarily writes about legal issues. Martin holds a Juris Doctor from Albany Law School and is licensed to practice law in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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