Brief Fact Summary. Kemp was heavily indebted to Defendant. Defendant assisted Kemp in keeping his business going. Plaintiff sought to recover unpaid rent from Kemp. Defendant promised to pay the rent Kemp owed Plaintiff.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A promise without consideration does not create an enforceable contract.
Issue. Did Defendant’s promise to pay rent create an enforceable contract?
Held. No. Because there was no consideration, an enforceable contract was not created.
For a promise to be enforceable it must be supported by consideration. The promise must be the result of a bargain or negotiation for consideration to be present. The requirement of consideration is to prevent the enforcement of a promise that is “accidental, casual, or gratuitous.”
Although Defendant made a promise, the court does not find there to be an enforceable contract. Plaintiff argues that agreeing not to sue or to delay bringing suit is sufficient consideration. The Court agrees that this may be consideration, but under these facts, the Court determined that it is not consideration. The Court focuses on the fact that Defendant did not ask Plaintiff to delay in bringing the suit and that it is likely that Plaintiff’s delay was motivated by personal convenience.
Discussion. In the present case, Plaintiff’s offer to delay bringing suit for unpaid rent did not create sufficient consideration to make Defendant’s promise to pay rent an enforceable contract because Defendant did not ask Plaintiff to delay bringing the suit and the delay was likely motivated by personal convenience.