College dorm room contract - is there anyway out?

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Latest post 06-05-2007 9:36 AM by adjuster jack. 5 replies.
  • 06-04-2007 7:06 PM

    Question [=?] College dorm room contract - is there anyway out?

    My daughter, a rising sophomore at a college in Georgia signed a contract for dorm housing back in April thinking she was just signing the application to reserve her room of choice. She is 18 and of course is of legal age, but did not read the fine print which states she signed a legal contract between her and the university. If the contract is cancelled, we are still responsible for the cost of staying in the dorm, which is $4,000 for the year. We have found an apartment off campus that is less expensive than the dorm room and we have been pleading with the housing department to let us out of this contract but they want their money, even though I know they would place another student in that room in place of my daughter. I have read the contract over and over trying to find a way out. The only glitch I see on the contract is that they stated the period of the contract beginning 8/10/2007 and ending 5/03/2007. Obviously the contract should state it ends 5/3/2008. My question is, is this enough to make the contract non-binding, the fact that they listed the date wrong? Thanks for any help anyone has to offer.
  • 06-04-2007 8:16 PM In reply to

    re: College dorm room contract - is there anyway out?

    "The only glitch I see on the contract is that they stated the period of the contract beginning 8/10/2007 and ending 5/03/2007. Obviously the contract should state it ends 5/3/2008. My question is, is this enough to make the contract non-binding, the fact that they listed the date wrong?"

    Nope.

    A judge would just read that as 5/3/2008 without even batting an eye.

    Your daughter is learning a healthy lesson about signing stuff without reading and understanding.

    I suggest you put her in the dorm and pay the 4000. Otherwise you'd probably end up paying anyway even if she didn't live there.

    This is not like a regular rental agreement where a landlord would sue for the breach and only be entitled to damages for the reasonable amount of time it takes to re-rent.

    The university doesn't have to bother suing and you can't defend a lawsuit if there isn't one.

    The university would just deny her the diploma/transcript/etc till she pays and could even deny her admission to classes as well.

    It would be a good idea to consult an attorney just in case I'm wrong.

    I sure hope nobody's committed to the other place while this is still hanging over you.
    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 06-05-2007 9:12 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 03-30-2000
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    re: College dorm room contract - is there anyway out?

    The college probably got up long before your daughter did to design dorm contracts that are hard to walk away from and leave the college with empty rooms. The college probably targets99%+ ocupancy.

    Whether or not there is a written or unwritten accomodation policy should a student not return or find different accomodations I don't know--the local student underground probably knows. If there is a waiting list the college may not be at risk--but I dont see why they cannot extract a hefty cancellation fee!!

    Dad, having had a few kids thru college recently, there is a certain magnetism about off campus living that is often oversold by kids to parents on other grounds---so I would not rush to change things to save a pittance.

    Elsewhere on this board you may see a lot of roommate issues--off campus roommate situations may not be low risk



  • 06-05-2007 9:36 AM In reply to

    Agree [=|=] re: College dorm room contract - is there anyway out?

    "off campus roommate situations may not be low risk"

    They aren't.

    My friend's daughter has had problems with several roommates over the last 4 years.
    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 06-05-2007 10:12 AM In reply to

    re: College dorm room contract - is there anyway out?

    What's a "rising sophomore"?

    "The only glitch I see on the contract is that they stated the period of the contract beginning 8/10/2007 and ending 5/03/2007. Obviously the contract should state it ends 5/3/2008. My question is, is this enough to make the contract non-binding, the fact that they listed the date wrong?"

    No. Consider the extra cost of the dorm room payment for the lesson she has now learned.
  • 06-05-2007 10:17 AM In reply to

    Note [#=#] re: College dorm room contract - is there anyway out?

    "This is not like a regular rental agreement where a landlord would sue for the breach and only be entitled to damages for the reasonable amount of time it takes to re-rent."

    I see no reason at all why the normal rules of mitigation wouldn't apply.

    Unfortunately, while your daughter might ultimately prevail on this defense (and she might not -- particularly if the supply of dorm rooms exceeds demand), the college could make her life quite hellish for the reasons Jack noted that it might not be worth it.
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