• Current through October 23, 2012

(a) A lease contract is not enforceable by way of action or defense unless:

(1) The total payments to be made under the lease contract, excluding payments for options to renew or buy, are less than $1,000; or

(2) There is a writing, signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought or by that party's authorized agent, sufficient to indicate that a lease contract has been made between the parties and to describe the goods leased and the lease term.

(b) Any description of leased goods or of the lease term is sufficient and satisfies subsection (a)(2) of this section, whether or not it is specific, if it reasonably identifies what is described.

(c) A writing is not insufficient because it omits or incorrectly states a term agreed upon, but the lease contract is not enforceable under subsection (a)(2) of this section beyond the lease term and the quantity of goods shown in the writing.

(d) A lease contract that does not satisfy the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, but which is valid in other respects, is enforceable:

(1) If the goods are to be specially manufactured or obtained for the lessee and are not suitable for lease or sale to others in the ordinary course of the lessor's business, and the lessor, before notice of repudiation is received and under circumstances that reasonably indicate that the goods are for the lessee, has made either a substantial beginning of their manufacture or commitments for their procurement;

(2) If the party against whom enforcement is sought admits in that party's pleading, testimony, or otherwise in court that a lease contract was made, but the lease contract is not enforceable under this provision beyond the quantity of goods admitted; or

(3) With respect to goods that have been received and accepted by the lessee.

(e) The lease term under a lease contract referred to in subsection (d) of this section is:

(1) If there is a writing signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought or by that party's authorized agent specifying the lease term, the term so specified;

(2) If the party against whom enforcement is sought admits in that party's pleading, testimony, or otherwise in court a lease term, the term so admitted; or

(3) A reasonable lease term.

(July 22, 1992, D.C. Law 9-128, § 2(b), 39 DCR 3830.)



Uniform Statutory Source

Sections 2-201, 9-203(1) and 9-110.


This section is modeled on Section 2-201, with changes to reflect the differences between a lease contract and a contract for the sale of goods. In particular, subsection (1)(b) adds a requirement that the writing "describe the goods leased and the lease term", borrowing that concept, with revisions, from the provisions of Section 9-203(1)(a). Subsection (2), relying on the statutory analogue in Section 9-110, sets forth the minimum criterion for satisfying that requirement.


The changes in this section conform the provisions of Section 2-201 to custom and usage in lease transactions. Section 2-201(2), stating a special rule between merchants, was not included in this section as the number of such transactions involving leases, as opposed to sales, was thought to be modest. Subsection (4) creates no exception for transactions where payment has been made and accepted. This represents a departure from the analogue, Section 2- 201(3)(c). The rationale for the departure is grounded in the distinction between sales and leases. Unlike a buyer in a sales transaction, the lessee does not tender payment in full for goods delivered, but only payment of rent for one or more months. It was decided that, as a matter of policy, this act of payment is not a sufficient substitute for the required memorandum. Subsection (5) was needed to establish the criteria for supplying the lease term if it is omitted, as the lease contract may still be enforceable under subsection (4).

Cross References

Sections 2-201, 9-110 and 9-203(1)(a).

Definitional Cross References

"Action". Section 1-201(1).

"Agreed". Section 1-201(3).

"Buying". Section 2A-103(1)(a).

"Goods". Section 2A-103(1)(h).

"Lease". Section 2A-103(1)(j).

"Lease contract". Section 2A-103(1)(l).

"Lessee". Section 2A-103(1)(n).

"Lessor". Section 2A-103(1)(p).

"Notice". Section 1-201(25).

"Party". Section 1-201(29).

"Sale". Section 2-106(1).

"Signed". Section 1-201(39).

"Term". Section 1-201(42).

"Writing". Section 1-201(46).

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28:2A-201.

Legislative History of Laws

For legislative history of D.C. Law 9-128, see Historical and Statutory Notes following § 28:2A-101.