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    Minors - Liability and breach of contract

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    Matt and Peter are minors in their jurisdiction. Their parents agree that, on a trial basis, the can be "independent" and live away from home. Matt and Peter find an apartment their part time jobs can pay for. On their own, they enter into a one year lease and pay the first month's rent in advance. However, they fail to pay the second month's rent. And at the end of the second month, they move back home. The landlord sues them and their parents for breach of contract. What result?

    (A) the liability of the minors for the full year's lease and for the months that they lived in the apartment -- the month that they paid for and the month that they did not pay for; and

    (B) the liability of their parents. Assume that the parents did not sign the lease nor did they change the locks to prevent their sons from returning home.

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    Please refer to file response attached. I hope this helps and take care.

    Law, Contracts
    Year 1
    Minors
    ________________________________________
    Matt and Peter are minors in their jurisdiction. Their parents agree that, on a trial basis, the can be "independent" and live away from home. Matt and Peter find an apartment their part time jobs can pay for. On their own, they enter into a one year lease and pay the first month's rent in advance. However, they fail to pay the second month's rent. And at the end of the second month, they move back home. The landlord sues them and their parents for breach of contract. What result?

    (A) the liability of the minors for the full year's lease and for the months that they lived in the apartment -- the month that they paid for and the month that they did not pay for; and

    (B)the liability of their parents. Assume that the parents did not sign the lease nor did they change the locks to prevent their sons from returning home.

    No files attached.
    ________________________________________
    Bid Credits: 2 Deadline: March 28, 2005, 9:55 pm EST

    Best answer: (B) the liability of their parents. Assume that the parents did not sign the lease nor did they change the locks to prevent their sons from returning home.
    5. Liability for Necessaries
    Necessaries are food, clothing, shelter, medicine, and hospital care-whatever a court believes is necessary to maintain a person's status.
    a. Minor's Liability
    A minor may disaffirm the contract but remains liable for the reasonable value (to avoid unjust enrichment).
    b. Parents' Liability
    If a minor's parent is able to provide the minor with necessaries but fails to do so, the parent will be liable to a seller or provider for the reasonable value of the necessaries.

    However, if the boys were living 200 miles away and going to University, for example, this would be different and (a) would apply. In this case, the boys should be liable for the balance of the lease based on the rules of Contract by Necessary.
    1)shelter would then be necessary (since they no longer lives with parents)
    2)the value is up to a level required to maintain her standard of living or financial and social status(they are able to pay rent with part time job)
    3)the minors must not be under the care of a parent or guardian, who is required to supply this item (they had moved away from home)
    Then all the criteria are met. By signing the lease the boys have shown acceptance of terms of such. Paying rent for the first month has shown intention to become bound of this contract.
    Contracts with minors
    Capacity Capacity refers to the fact that the law does not recognize the ability of some people to enter into binding contractual arrangements, or at least limits their capacity to enter into such arrangements. The reason for this is the paternalistic one that such individuals might not be in a position to fully appreciate the terms of any agreement they might enter into and consequently there is the possibility that they will be taken advantage of without their even realising it.
    Minors
    In general terms, adults of sound mind have full contractual capacity and are free to enter into such agreements as they wish and will be required to comply with any such. Minors, however, those under the age of 18, do not have full capacity. The rules, which apply to minors, are a mixture of common law and statute, and depend on when the contract was made. Contracts entered into after 9th June 1987 are subject to the Minors¿ Contracts Act (1987). In considering the cases cited in relation to capacity of minors it should be remembered that the age of majority was only lowered to 18 from 21 in 1969, so in the early cases minors were significantly older than they are now.
    Agreements entered into by minors may be classified within three possible categories:
    i. Valid contracts.
    ii. Voidable contracts.
    iii. Unenforceable contracts.
    (i) Valid contracts
    These are agreements that can be enforced against minors and involve one of the following:
    • contracts for necessaries. Minors are under a legal obligation to pay for things necessary for their maintenance although even then they will only be required to pay a reasonable price for any necessaries purchased. Necessaries are defined in the Sale of Goods Act, Section 3, as goods suitable to the condition in life of the minor and their actual requirements at the time of sale. The classic case on this point is the wonderfully anachronistic Nash v. Inman (1908) in which a tailor sued a minor to whom he had supplied clothes, including 11 fancy waistcoats. It was decided that, as the minor was an undergraduate at Cambridge University at the time, the clothes were suitable according to the minor's station in life. Unfortunately for the tailor, however, it was further decided that they were not necessary, as he already had sufficient clothing.
    • beneficial contracts of service. A minor is bound by a contract of apprenticeship or employment, as long as it contains an element of education or training and is, on the whole, for their benefit. In Doyle v. White City Stadium (1935), a minor who had obtained a professional boxer's licence, attempted to avoid some of the rules contained in the agreement by having it declared unenforceable due to his lack of capacity. In deciding the case, not only was the licence treated as a contract of apprenticeship, but it was also held that, taken as whole, it was beneficial to him.
    (ii) Voidable contracts
    These may be avoided by the minor, but if no steps are taken to repudiate the contract during the time of their minority, or within a reasonable time after reaching the age of majority, then they are binding and cannot be avoided subsequently.
    Voidable agreements relate to transactions in which the minor acquires an interest of a permanent nature with obligations continuing into the time of their majority: examples are contracts for shares, or leases of property, or partnership agreements.
    The minor will only be able to recover money paid out under the terms of the agreement before repudiation of the contract, where there is a total failure of consideration. In other words they will not be able to recover the money unless they received no benefit whatsoever from the agreement. As an example see Steinberg v. Scala (Leeds) (1923) in which a minor, applied for and was allotted shares in the defendant company. After paying some money on the shares she repudiated the contract. Although the company agreed to remove her name from its register of members, it refused to return any of her money. It was held that the plaintiff had benefited from membership rights and thus, as there had not been a complete failure of consideration, she was not entitled to the return of the money paid.
    (iii) Unenforceable contracts
    Under the Infants Relief Act (1874) the following contracts were stated to be absolutely void:
    • Contracts for the repayment of loans;
    • Contracts for goods other than necessaries;
    • Accounts stated: i.e., admissions of money owed.
    In addition, no action could be brought on the basis of the ratification, made after the attainment of full age, of an otherwise void contract.
    Although the Infants Relief Act stated that such contracts were absolutely void; in effect this simply meant that they could not be enforced against the minor. The Minors¿ Contracts Act 1987 now declares that the contracts set out in the Infants Relief Act are no longer to be considered as absolutely void. As a consequence, unenforceable contracts may be ratified on the minor attaining the age of majority.
    The Minors¿ Contracts Act has also given the courts wider powers to order the restoration of property acquired by a minor. They are no longer restricted to cases where the minor has acquired the property through fraud but can order restitution where they think it ¿just and equitable¿ to do so.
    Minors liability in tort
    As there is no minimum age limit in relation to actions in tort, minors may be liable under a tortious action. The courts, however, will not permit a party to enforce a contract indirectly by substituting an action in tort, or quasi-contract, for an action in contract. Thus in Leslie v. Shiell (1914), the defendant, whilst a minor, had obtained a loan from Leslie by lying about his age. When Leslie sued to recover the money as damages in an action for the tort of deceit, it was held that he could not succeed as he was merely using an indirect way of enforcing the otherwise void contract. http://www.accaglobal.com/publications/studentaccountant/36793

    FINAL COMMENTS You may want to check out some other answers about minor responsibilities URL: http://hyper.vcsun.org/HyperNews/djordan/get/law1w23chp13minors.html?inline=-1&nogifs
    I hope this helps and take care.

    This content was COPIED from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 24, 2021, 5:14 pm ad1c9bdddf>
    https://brainmass.com/law/contract-law/minors-liability-breach-contract-36650

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