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2007-07-30 16:09:00

Questions and Answers: Can Emancipated Minors Enter Into a Lease?

How does someone become an emancipated minor?

If the person is under 18, but has been married or is married, or is in the active military, or receives a court order of emancipation, the person can legally make and be held to a contract.

What happens if we rent to someone who is under 18 and is not an emancipated minor?

The lease is void because the tenant did not have legal capacity to legally enter into the agreement.

Q   I recently received an application from a young married couple. He is twenty but she is only seventeen. I told her she was too young to sign the rental agreement and he had to qualify on his own even though she was working. She said because she was married, she was qualified to sign. I never heard of this law. Is she right?

California recognizes an individual's right to enter into binding contracts if they are eighteen years of age or older, married (or were married), are on active duty with the military, or are emancipated by order of the court. You therefore should treat her the same way as you would any other adult applicant.

(LegalEase is intended to provide general information and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact the nearest office to discuss the facts of your particular situation. Kimball, Tirey & St. John makes no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, with regard to this information. Kimball, Tirey and St. John shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising out of, the use of any information herein contained.)

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