Can my son terminate his university apartment lease early due to a change in his enrollment status and his relocation?

UPDATED: Jul 17, 2010

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Can my son terminate his university apartment lease early due to a change in his enrollment status and his relocation?

My son is a full time student at the U of Del and signed a lease for a apartment. He no longer needs housing because he is withdrawing from the University due to poor academic performance. He is moving home and transferring to a local community college. In DE, my understanding is that a tenant is allowed to break a lease with a 30-day notice if they are relocated to a new job that is more than 30 miles away from their present job. His job as a full-time student is his schoolwork. Does this provide a legal basis to terminate the aparment lease early.

Asked on July 17, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Delaware


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately no--in this case, that provision of DE law would not help for at least two reasons:

1) The requirement is that the "current employer" requires the worker to relocate. Ergo, it does not apply to when someone leaves one situation, for any reason, for another. It only applies when the current employer, not the worker, makes the decision to relocate the worker. You son is living the university to attend a different school; by definition, even if the university were his employer (see below) it's not his current one relocating him. The situation is more analogous to voluntarily quiting job A to take job B.

2) For purposes of the act, "employer" means just what it sounds like--an employer in the traditonal sense of the person or company who pays you to do work. In a sense, yes, a student's "job" is to go to school--but that does NOT make the school his employer, anymore than the fact that even though a homemaker's job may be to keep house and take care of children, that does not mean that his or her spouse, the primary breadwinner, is his or her "employer."

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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