She paid the rent herself for the remaining ten months of the lease and then sought contribution for Marshall’s share of the rent plus court costs in the amount of $2,500. Can Fletcher collect from Marshall? Why or why not?
On April 29, Kirsten Fletcher and John E. Marshall III jointly signed a lease to rent an apartment for the term beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30 of the following year, for a monthly rent of $525 per month. At the time the lease was signed, Marshall was not yet eighteen years of age. Marshall turned eighteen on May 30. Two weeks later, the couple moved into the apartment. About two months later, Marshall moved out to attend college, but Fletcher remained. She paid the rent herself for the remaining ten months of the lease and then sought contribution for Marshall’s share of the rent plus court costs in the amount of $2,500. Can Fletcher collect from Marshall? Why or why not?
Evidences to support both sides of the arguments are as follows:
If a minor disaffirms the contract before ratification, the contract becomes voidable. A contract that is once ratified cannot be disaffirmed. Individual M has ratified the contract by moving in and paying rent for two months. The disaffirmation after moving out is not to be considered as valid. Individual M is liable to Individual F for the complete agreement period. Based on the ratification principle, Individual F is entitled to receive the rent share from Individual M. Individual M from their conduct has implied that Individual M entered the contract by staying in the leased property for a period of two months. Only after attaining age of majority, Individual M moved into the apartment and paid for the stay. There is no disaffirmation before or after vacating the leased property. The conduct of Individual M indicated explicit ratification.
Individual M is a minor, and a contract entered into by a minor is void. Individual M has entered into the contract before maturity. As a result, Individual M has the privilege to disaffirm the contract within reasonable time after attaining majority.
The probable solutions for the question are as follows:
Individual F wins the case
Individual M wins the case