Can a Minor Enter Into a Lease Contract?

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As a minor you may attempt to get your own apartment on campus and move out of your parent's house. Unfortunately, being under the age of 18 limits your rental options. You can rent an apartment, but this may require help from a legal guardian.

What Is Lease Contract?

Lease contracts are typical with apartment and home rentals. Landlords create lease agreements to protect their interests. And by signing a lease to move into a house or apartment, lessees agree to submit timely rent payments for a specific number of months and adhere to other lease terms. Breaching this agreement or walking away from a lease early can result in a civil lawsuit and possible credit damage.

Minors and Contracts

Leases are a type of contract, and, by law, minors or individuals under the age of 18 cannot enter into a legally binding contract. This restriction extends to minors who want to lease their own apartment or house. Minors can acquire a rental with a lease contract, but in order for a landlord to enforce the lease agreement, the minor's parents must sign the lease contract and assume responsibility if their minor child stops making the rent payment.

Danger of Renting to Minors

Landlords can make decisions regarding their properties, and a landlord may choose to rent to a minor and allow a minor to sign a lease contract. Doing so imposes huge risks for landlords. If a minor terminates a lease early or breaks the lease contract, landlords cannot take legal action to recover unpaid rent. A minor can fulfill the lease agreement according to the contract, or they can void the lease without repercussions.

Considerations

A landlord may conclude that an emancipated minor (parents relinquish authority or control) can enter into a legal binding agreement and thus sign a lease a contract. Emancipated minors are still under the age of 18, and the laws or rules of the land still apply to these minors. With this said, an emancipated minor can break or void a signed lease contract. However, if a landlord were to take legal action, the judge hearing the case may take the minor's emancipation status into consideration and order him to fulfill the lease agreement.

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