When it comes to legal documents and contracts, there are certain terms that are often used interchangeably but actually have distinct meanings. Two terms that can often cause confusion are “covenant” and “agreement.” While they may seem similar at first glance, there are important differences between the two.
A covenant is a type of promise or agreement that is made between two parties. It is a legally binding obligation that one party agrees to fulfill, often in exchange for something from the other party. Covenants can be found in a variety of legal documents, such as contracts, deeds, and leases. They may also be enforced by a court of law if one party fails to fulfill their obligation.
One key characteristic of a covenant is that it is often perpetual, meaning that it lasts indefinitely. This means that the obligation agreed to in a covenant will continue to apply even after the original parties who made the covenant are no longer involved. For example, if a property owner covenants to maintain a certain landscaping arrangement on their property, that covenant would still apply even if the property changed hands.
An agreement, on the other hand, is a more general term that refers to any sort of mutual understanding or arrangement between two or more parties. Like covenants, agreements can be found in a variety of legal documents, but they are not necessarily legally binding in the way that covenants are. Instead, agreements are often used to establish a framework for future actions or to clarify expectations between parties.
Unlike covenants, agreements do not necessarily have to be perpetual. They can be time-limited, meaning that they only apply for a certain period of time. For example, an employment agreement between an employer and an employee may only apply for the duration of the employee`s tenure with the company.
In summary, while both covenants and agreements are types of promises or understandings made between parties, there are important differences between the two. Covenants are legally binding and often perpetual, while agreements are more general and may not be legally binding. Understanding the distinction between these terms is important when drafting or reviewing legal documents.