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Contracts for the sale of land must be in writing. This usually includes leases over one year. Full or part performance takes the contract out of the statute. This requires possession of the land and making valuable improvements to the land.


A contract involving the sale of land or interests therein is controlled by the Statute of Frauds. See 12 V.S.A. § 181(5). As a general rule, such contracts must be in writing to be enforceable. See Couture v. Lowery, 122 Vt. 239, 243, 168 A.2d 295, 298 (1961). Moreover, any proposed changes or modifications 'are subjected to the same requirements of form as the original provisions.' Evarts v. Forte, 135 Vt. 306, 311, 376 A.2d 766, 769 (1977). 


While the writing requirement is imposed primarily as a shield against possible fraud, see Couture, supra, 122 Vt. at 243, 168 A.2d at 298, it also 'promotes deliberation, seriousness, certainty, and shows that the act was a genuine act of volition.' Rabel, The Statute of Frauds and Comparative Legal History, 63 LQ. Rev. 174, 178 (1947). In short, it helps to ensure that contracts for the sale of land or interests therein are not ...

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