A quasi contract, also known as an implied-in-law contract, is a legal concept that is often misunderstood. In simple terms, it is a type of agreement that is not based on explicit terms or a formal written agreement. Instead, it arises from the circumstances surrounding a transaction and seeks to prevent one party from unjustly benefiting at the expense of the other party.
More specifically, a quasi contract is an obligation that is imposed by law to avoid the unjust enrichment of one party at the expense of another. This type of contract does not require the mutual consent of both parties, as is required by a traditional contract. Rather, the quasi contract is imposed by a court to remedy a situation in which one party has benefited from the other party without paying for it.
An example of a quasi contract would be a situation where a contractor mistakenly installs a new water heater in a residential property that was intended for a different property. If the owner of the wrong property uses the new water heater without paying for it, they would be unjustly enriched at the expense of the contractor. In this case, the contractor could seek relief from the court by enforcing a quasi contract to require the owner to pay for the water heater.
In summary, a quasi contract is a legal concept that is imposed to prevent unjust enrichment. While it is not a traditional contract, it is still legally enforceable. By understanding the difference between a quasi contract and a traditional contract, parties can ensure that their agreements are legally binding and compliant with the law.