When dorm opens, teen wants out of lease

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Q: Several weeks ago my 18-year-old niece signed a one-year lease contract to room with several students at a privately owned rental condo and gave them the first month's rent and a portion of the security deposit. A few days later she changed her mind and doesn't actually want to move in because our local university informed her that a dorm facility right on campus was available. The landlord and her roommates are upset that she is not moving in and are demanding that she continue to pay rent until she finds someone else to take her place on the lease plus they want her to forfeit her share of the security deposit she paid as well. The landlord did offer to let her out of the lease if she pays a penalty equal to her share of the rent for two months. But I found out that she was not given a copy of the rental contract. So can't she claim she never had an agreement and get all of her money back? Isn't there a grace period that would allow her to change your mind about the ...