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Contract Disputes and Property Disputes in Vermont

In Vermont, disputes concerning contracts and properties are heard and resolved in the state’s trial court. Contracts may be defined as legally enforceable agreements. It is a compact established by two or more persons, which creates a duty to perform or abstain from executing a particular act.

Although contract disputes and property disputes share certain similarities, each has varying fields of focus. Generally, property disputes have to do with real estate such as condominiums, vacant lots, fences, etc. Parties involved in these issues include municipalities, tenants and landlords, and trespassers.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What are Contract Disputes in Vermont?

Contract disputes in Vermont occur when either or both entities that consented to an agreement fail to follow through with the contract obligations. A few examples that normally result in contract disputes are:

  • Failure or refusal to deliver services
  • Refusal to adhere to the employment agreements
  • Failure to pay for services and goods

Generally, certain legal issues have to be addressed when there’s a contract dispute. The legal issues are but not limited to:

  • Whether there was an actual contract
  • Whether a specific term was employed when establishing the contract
  • Whether a party to the agreement abandoned it
  • The proper way to interpret the contract

These issues are not directed to the jury but to the judge to decide as the juries give verdicts based only on facts. In a Vermont contract dispute, the judge will be expected to direct the jury on the actual “contractual facts” they should consider and instruct them on the correct approach.

What are the Most Common Contract Disputes in Vermont?

The following are some of the most common contract disputes:

  • Commercial leases: Either the language or the lack of it in commercial lease contracts can lead to numerous disputes among parties to a contract. The person leasing might not have stated the precise fee to be paid upon breach. In other instances, the individual using the renting may not have understood the terms of the contract.
  • Non-compete agreements: Some employees require their employers to sign non-compete agreements that take effect immediately when they start their job. These contracts mean that if an employee terminates an employer’s contract, such a person cannot seek employment with the company’s competitors for a stipulated period.
  • Sale of goods agreements: These are open-ended contracts employed in liquidated and wholesale merchandise transactions. The contracts are to guarantee that a customer will get the goods purchased or ensure its performance.
  • Non-disclosure agreements: Also referred to as NDAs, this is created to ensure that the intended investor or buyer who receives confidential information does not leak it. Although these are commonly disputed, the plaintiff might require a lot of evidence to prove the defendant spread the information willingly and knowingly.
  • Consumer contract disputes: Commonly known as a warranty, the manufacturer promises the buyer that the product being paid for is without defect or hazard. Disputes arise when the buyer discovers that the product has a defect or is hazardous.
  • Company contracts: These are the regular contracts between two or more entities offering different services or goods.

What is Vermont Contract Law?

Vermont contract laws are established to regulate how contracts are made and ways through which disputes can be resolved. A contract is considered legal if an offer was made, accepted, and considerations (goods and services) were exchanged. Similar to most states in the country, contracts can be oral, written, or implied in Vermont.

What is a Breach of Contract in Vermont?

A contract breach in Vermont occurs when an individual who consented to an agreement fails or refuses to comply with the contract’s obligations. Petitions regarding breach of contracts are to be filed with the Vermont civil courts. However, to file an action concerning a breach of contract, the petitioner should consider the following factors:

  • If the contract is legally binding
  • If a party to the agreement failed or refused to perform the agreed-upon duties
  • If the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the agreement breach

What are the Remedies for a Breach of Contract in Vermont?

In Vermont, damages or remedies are paid to plaintiffs for anticipated or actual losses due to the other partner not holding up to the agreement. Damages/remedies are constitutional orders given for the repudiation of a contract. The following are remedies to plaintiffs in Vermont, as stated in section 704:

  • Specific performance
  • An injunction against any further breach of contract
  • Mutual benefit in an amount equal to the actual or expected loss

Before the court can grant any of these remedies, the plaintiff will need to prove that a legal contract was breached and nullify potential legal excuses.

What Defenses Can Be Used Against a Breach of Contract Claim in Vermont?

Not all contract litigations are successful due to varying factors. Below are some valid defenses against claims of a breach of contract:

  • A partner’s performance was not sufficient enough under the contract
  • A partner agreed to the agreement under duress
  • Frustration of purpose
  • Impossibility of performance
  • Fraud in inducement
  • The contract is not legally binding
  • Misrepresentation

What are Property Disputes in Vermont?

In Vermont, property disputes are conflicts involving real estate property-owners and their assets. This generally involves landlord & tenant disputes, ownership conflicts, fencing, and so on. The Vermont property code caters to issues regarding the conveyance of property and real estate. It is advisable for a person involved in cases such as this to hire a property dispute lawyer.

What Are Some Common Types of Property Disputes in Vermont?

In Vermont, property disputes such as conflicts about the property’s value, workmanship on the structure, and arguments concerning the boundaries are common. The following are the types of property disputes in the state:

  • Property boundary lines: This occurs when the perimeters of a property are not properly documented. This usually leads to conflicts between neighbors.
  • Breach of obligation: This is when the landlord fails or refuses to carry out vital repairs in the leased property, which causes harm to a tenant.
  • Failure to disclose all property defects: A property-owner must reveal to the potential buyer all the flaws in the property. Failure to do this may lead to litigation.

How to Find Property Lines in Vermont

Property lines, otherwise known as boundary lines, is a major cause of property disputes in Vermont. These lines reveal to a property owner where the territory begins and ends. The Vermont Center for Geographic Information (VCGI) offers a parcel mapping program that can help residents pinpoint their property lines. Interested persons can contact the local land surveyor or developer for assistance concerning this issue. Alternatively, the property deed also reveals the boundary lines of a structure.

How do I Find a Property Dispute Lawyer Near me?

Persons involved in property disputes with a neighbor or landlord/tenant are advised to secure an experienced property dispute attorney’s services in the state. The Vermont Bar Association provides a lawyer referral program to help interested persons find and select the right lawyer to handle their case. The property dispute lawyers can also be found online through various law firm websites and certain third-party sites. These attorneys can help prepare & review documents and resolve issues relating to real estate in Vermont.

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