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Old 11-28-2012, 11:02 PM
1 posts, read 3,059 times
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I'm living at an apartment complex in southern California. The apartment complex is owned by the university I go to, but is directly off campus and not considered a part of the dorms or residence halls.

I've been living here for the fall quarter, which ends December 31st. A friend who has a condo has offered to let me be a roommate, which sounds much more ideal than living in a cramped 4-bedroom apartment with the laundry facility in a different building.

The "License Agreement" for the apartments states there is an early termination fee (around $500) for breaking the license before the "term" is up. The "term" of the license is referenced a few times throughout the License Agreement, but never defined (i.e. it doesn't say the start date, end date, or duration of the License Agreement). We can pay monthly or pay the quarter or year in advance; I am paying monthly at present. I had assumed "term" meant a quarter, akin to an academic term, but when preparing to file my 30-day move out notice I was told the term is the entire academic year.

The apartments' website does not even have the current year's license agreement posted, only the one from the previous year. When I mentioned this at the front desk today I was handed a printed copy of this year's agreement. Again, like the previous year's agreement, the "term" of the license is never defined.

We each have our own room; the license agreement defines this as "permission to occupy one assigned bed space". The agreement never uses the terms "rent" or "lease", calling monthly payments "license fees".

Do I have any legal rights in this situation, or is this completely outside of tenant law? I sort of feel that I shouldn't be charged a termination fee for not completing an undefined term, but I can't find any "license agreement" law.
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