Contracts are an important part of any business or individual transaction intended to be legally binding. Unfortunately, sometimes unforeseen circumstances may result in a situation where one party is unable or unwilling to perform their part of the contract and wants to cancel. Alternatively, a party to the contract may simply experience buyer’s remorse and want to cancel a contract they no longer feel is in their best interest.
The answer to whether a contract can be cancelled varies depending on the situation. Generally, once a contract exists there is no legal right to cancel, unless the terms of the contract specifically allow it. The legal term for the right to cancel is known as a right of recission.
Contracts that contain a right of recission can typically be cancelled, provided that the instructions for cancellation are precisely followed. This may mean the cancellation be done in writing within the time specified in the contract, and the cancellation be provided to the proper parties in the proper format. The right of recission terms in a contract should be thoroughly read and understood, to avoid an invalid cancellation if not done correctly.
Florida’s three-day cooling off period
In the absence of a right to recission, Florida law allows certain contracts to be cancelled within the first three days after the contract is entered. This is known as a “cooling-off period,” and it only applies to certain types of contracts.
Contracts that involve more than one-time services, such as a contract providing for a service every two weeks, may be subject to the three-day cancellation law. Additionally, a contract for services that become impractical or impossible to perform due to new or changed conditions may allow for cancellation.
The three-day period is also triggered if goods or services for more than $25.00 in value are sold to a person outside of the seller’s main place of business, such as in the buyer’s home. It is important to understand the available rights and options for cancellation before signing a contract. Business and contract attorneys can be a valuable resource.