Kalen is a seventeen-year-old minor who has just graduated from high school. He is attending a university two hundred miles from home and has contracted to rent an apartment near the university for one year at $500 per month. He is working at a convenience store to earn enough income to be self-supporting. After living in the apartment and paying monthly rent for four months, he becomes involved in a dispute with his landlord. Kalen, still a minor, moves out and returns the key to the landlord. The landlord wants to hold Kalen liable for the balance of the payments due under the lease.
Is the contract of lease entered into by and between Karen and the landlord valid?
In all the existing statutes in the state, a minor is considered to be those below 21 years old. Although in some states, they lowered it to 18 years of age. Generally, minors are not given civil and political rights, like right to suffrage and to marry. Minors do not even have the legal capacity to enter into a contract.
In the instant case, Kalen has no liability to the landlord. In the law, minors are not bestowed with civil and political rights and obligation because the law acknowledges their incapability to handle responsibilities. In addition, minors are recognized by the law to be immature to discern the consequences of their acts. Moreover, they are also not allowed to marry and vote because they do not have mental capacity that can be likened to an adult.
They are protected by law because of their susciptibility to bad influences. Significantly, minors are not allowed by law to enter into a contract, with exception to sports and entertainment. The contract entered into by Kalen to her landlord is void and not binding because the former do not have the legal capacity to do so. According to law. for a contract to be valid, it is essential that both parties have legal capacity to enter a contract. Absence of which would render the contract void. Thus, Kalen has no liability to her landlord.
Minors are protected by law by disarming them of their legal, political, and civil rights because of their immaturity. When Kalen entered into a lease contract, she was a minor who had no legal capacity. However, this was not considered by the landlord. A contract is void for want of legal capacity. Thus, any obligations and liabilities attached therein shall also be void.
- “Minors and Contract Lawyers.” (2008). Legal Match. 19 July 2008 <http://www.legalmatch.com/law library/article/can-a-minor-contract.html>.