Is a contract valid with the wrong last name? I had a contractor come and do some work on a barn. He said that he would do good work use different products. In the end, he did not use the products and did poor quality work.

I asked him for a detailed contract. What he brought me had a sentence or two on the work. The rest was just stuff about payment and such. The contract had my first name correct, but he had gotten part of my email address and used that as my last name. Also, he had the address of the project as the address across the street as my property has no official address.

I signed the contract with a carpenter's pencil quite poorly and am not sure if anyone could read it. I trusted the guy as he is part of Isiah House, a rehabilitation charity. I am unhappy with the work and he does not want to do anything about it. The contract says I have 30 days to pay. He wants the money now.

I just recently received a copy of the contract after asking for it after the work was done. I never have been involved in contract litigation. Is the contract considered valid and binding with a totally wrong last name and a wrong project address?

  • 3
    Why did you knowingly sign a contract with incorrect information? Mar 13, 2023 at 22:07
  • I did not sign the contract to defraud anyone. I Been looking for a contractor to do the work for a couple of years. I was told to sign the contract so they could leave and get home and start to order materials. I foolishly hoped that this would go smoothly and there would be no conflict and I would gladly pay for a good job. But then the contractor did not do all he said he would do and did poor work and that made me wonder if his poor contract and the mistakes would make the contract unenforceable and then perhaps he would negototiate to do all I was told.
    – Doug
    Mar 15, 2023 at 17:22
  • You realise if the contract was unenforceable he'd have no reason to do the job, right? Mar 15, 2023 at 18:14
  • They did part of the job, some poorly, then wanted immediate payment. Was told that as i said I was not plush with money that they interpreted that to mean that i wanted a very cheaply done minimal project and that is what they bid for. It was convenient that they would not give me a detailed contract, just a sentence saying they were going to do some walls and doors in a barn. Perhaps that was their attempt at fraud.
    – Doug
    Mar 17, 2023 at 6:52
  • How is that fraud? You saw and read the contract and chose to agree to it. Mar 17, 2023 at 10:14

2 Answers 2


Ah, the old "is this contract invalid (but still legally binding for the other party)"?

You signed a contract with someone else. You do not dispute that it was you who signed the contract and agreed to it. You made it abundantly clear that there was a contract between you when you allowed him to do the work. This means one of the following was true:

  • There was a mistake in the contract. What was followed was how it was intended.
  • You signed a contract containing false information in an attempt to defraud someone.

One of these will end up much worse for you.

The fact that the work was not completed to the agreed upon standard could be considered a breach of contract- this is something a small claims court would decide.


would like to know if the contract is considered valid and binding with a totally wrong last name and a wrong project address?

The contract you describe is valid to the extent that it contains enough information to ascertain who the intended parties are as well as the purpose of the contract.

The contractor is not entitled to strike the deadline of payment. But unless you can prove what you two agreed in other communications, the terms of the "detailed" contract would be compared to what the contractor actually did. If those terms are too vague, the dispute would be decided on the basis of "common practice".

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