Lawyers analyse child’s ‘new room contract’ with 9-year-old sister
‘Would a Haribo rent be a sensible consideration?’
A lawyer mum has taken to Twitter to share a funny bedroom ‘contract’ between her son and daughter, and other lawyers have given their thoughts on its “legality”.
Jodi Newton, a medical negligence solicitor at Osbornes Law, tweeted: “Thoughts on the legality of this contract I have found between my 11 year old son and 9 year old daughter concerning an agreement reached about who takes the loft room in our new house?”
The three-clause kiddy ‘contract’ hands ownership of the loft in Newton’s new house to her son, and once signed, her daughter cannot say that her brother does not own it.
Thoughts on the legality of this contract I have found between my 11 year old son and 9 year old daughter concerning an agreement reached about who takes the loft room in our new house? pic.twitter.com/icBJYAcIHt
— Jodi Newton (@JodiNewtonLaw) November 30, 2021
Twitter lawyers joked that the typed note had no consideration (“both literally and metaphorically”) or witness and that there may be “some form of duress due to the ages of the parties” involved. One Twitter user wrote: “Would a Haribo rent be a sensible consideration?”
No consideration paid, no witness, no evidence of title to the loft room. Maybe some form of duress due to the ages of the parties. I will act for your daughter if need be, pro bono.
— Rob Hailstone (@RobcHailstone) December 1, 2021
Other lawyers piled in giving their ‘advice’:
S is masterfully looking after the interests of her client (herself) by: no consideration (ergo no contract), not executing this as a deed (ergo not binding otherwise), and excluding J from signing it (s2(3) LP(MP)A 1989). She can/will say in future that J does NOT own said loft.
— Burhan Mallik (@b_mallek) November 30, 2021
I think also, per Balfour v Balfour, S could argue there was no intention to create legal relations between them being family although J may argue that they are not living in amity and there is a written agreement as in Merritt v Merritt.
— Omar Salem (@OmarSalem) December 1, 2021
There were further amusing suggestions from lawyers that the children should hold the room as joint tenants or that the daughter should ensure a “transfer undertaking when her brother goes to university (to study law)”. Another Twitter user suggested that they test it in court “with Mummy LJ and Daddy LJ presiding together with the President, Grandma LJ”. Others said that the parents taking up the new room would constitute — cue nerdy contract law joke — “frustration”.
Simon Mallett of KBW Barristers Chambers tweeted: “Unreadable signature — instantly deniable and unclear what is being offered — masterly agreement — they both have a very bright (and worrying) career ahead.”
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