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Is Automatic Contract Renewal enforceable in MA

Boston, MA |

Our Company has a contract for a commercial service, in fine print on the back it has the automatic renewal - unless 30 days notice before contract ends clause. We have been with the company for 2 terms and want to change due to pricing (they have crept up to double the rate over the past 6 years) Is Automatic Renewal enforceable in MA?

Attorney Answers 3


Generally, automatically renewed contracts are enforceable everywhere. Also, there's a doctrine called "severability" that says that sometimes contracts are enforceable even if they have an unenforceable provision in them.

You really need to have your particular contract reveiwed in its entirety. As with any question that asks "what does my contract say, what have I agreed to, and what are my rights?" no lawyer can respond in any meaningful way without reviewing the document in question.

PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU COMMENT, EMAIL ME OR PHONE ME. I'm only licensed in CA. This answer doesn't make me your lawyer, and neither do follow-up comments and/or emails and/or phone calls, and you shouldn't expect me to respond to your further questions if you haven't hired me. We need an actual agreement confirmed in writing before any attorney-client relationship is formed. This answer doesn't constitute legal advice, and shouldn't be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.

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Yes automatically renewed contracts are enforceable so take yours to a local lawyer for a review.

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It sounds like you were aware that the contract would roll over as you mention you have been with them for two terms (and that this would then be the third term). This might be material in any dispute over whether you were aware of that particular provision (though generally the law presumes that you read the contract before signing).

As to whether the contract can be enforced, and enforced in an economic fashion for the commercial service provider, that would depend upon the specific terms, facts, and circumstances. For example, the timing of price increases might be a factor which determines the outcome of any suit over the contract. If there is a significant change in the performance of the contract, that could affect the outcome, etcetera. As a general proposition, two businesses can agree that the contract will renew on a specific basis if no action is taken by a certain date, but that may not be the end of an analysis of the situation. Good luck.

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