If my underage child signed a contract to have a roofing company perform work on my roof without my consent, am I liable to pay for the services they provided?

Asked on July 24, 2015 under Business Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If they actually did provde services--e.g. redo your roof--then yes: you have to pay. That is because the law does not allow you to accept a product, service, payment, or benefit from another (in this case, a new or repaired roof) without paying for it; keeping a benefit without paying is called "unjust enrichment," and the law strongly disfavors it. 

However, if you did not already accept the services, you could void the contract without penalty, since you minor child may not legally enter into a contract; you would not have to go ahead and let them do the roofing work.


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