Absence of Written Contract Does Not Void Contract With Licensed Homebuilder
Terrell v. Oak & Alley Homes, LLC, [Ms. 2190175, Jan. 15, 2021], ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. Civ. App. 2021). The court (Hanson, J.; Thompson, P.J., and Moore and Donaldson, JJ., concur; Edwards, J., concurs in the result) affirms the Dale Circuit Court’s judgment awarding breach of contract damages for a building contractor who repaired the defendant’s home. The court rejects the homeowner’s argument that the absence of a written contract rendered agreement void. The court explains
§ 34-14A-7(f) provides that a licensed residential homebuilder “shall utilize a valid written contract when engaging in the business of residential home building.” The Act, however, does not expressly render an oral contract entered by a licensed residential homebuilder void or unenforceable. That the legislature did not include such a provision is instructive, because the Act does expressly prohibit the enforcement of residential-homebuilding contracts under certain other circumstances. For example, § 34-14A-14(d), Ala. Code 1975, provides that “[a] residential homebuilder, who does not have the license required, shall not bring or maintain any action to enforce the provisions of any contract for residential homebuilding which he or she entered into in violation of” the Act. The fact that the Act expressly prohibits the enforcement of residential-homebuilding contracts under those expressly enumerated circumstances indicates that the same penalty was not intended with regard to oral contracts entered into by licensed residential homebuilders. See, e.g., Jefferson Cnty. v. Alabama Criminal Justice Info. Ctr. Comm’n, 620 So. 2d 651, 658 (Ala. 1993) (“Under the principle of expressio unius est exclusio alterius, a rule of statutory construction, the express inclusion of requirements in the law implies an intention to exclude other requirements not so included.”).