Liability for housing contract signed pre Covid

Son 19, renewed his housing contract with a $200 deposit in February, pre Covid…university was evacuated in mid March and went online only… Withdrew and transferred this month as he is a recruited D3 athlete and the university now states that no decision has been made as to whether the sport will compete in 2021…their 2020 season was terminated in early March as well…all fall 2020 sports were just cancelled this past week…School is reopening in August on a hybrid model…he is receiving emails requesting payment for the housing contract for fall 2020,…his position is that the university cannot guarantee that the sport will be allowed to compete and that he is no longer obligated to send payment to a school he no longer attends because of that…I agree with him, not because I’m his Dad, but his logic is sound…we are out of state and I doubt they would be able to enforce the contract anyway in that case…additionally, Covid 19 in my opinion constitutes an act of God which has fundamentally altered the provisions and responsibilities under which the contract was originally signed, in essence, an act which has precluded the full enjoyment in attending the university…Your thoughts?

Is this university housing? They should be giving the option to pull out of on campus housing with the COVID uncertainty and social distancing. BUT if its a private operator on campus then good luck!

Sounds like it is on campus housing, you should be able to cancel and just lose your deposit and it looks like $800 breach of contract fee, off campus? All bets are off, look at your lease.

To be clear, this is university on campus housing…thanks.

It sounds like he didn’t completely withdraw. The registrar, housing, and food service offices all have to be notified. If he’s not attending the college send an email to each of the offices before their withdrawal deadline. If you miss it, you could end up owing the college. Your son’s final transcripts won’t be released to the new school if you owe the previous school money.

The only thing that matters is what’s in the contract. Does it say that you agree to pay only if the school offers his sport? Ethically, how enforceable the contract is doesn’t matter. You either owe the school or you don’t. Normally, acts of God are excluded from insurance coverage, so I don’t think that reasoning is going to fly with colleges.

If your son is planning to attend a different college the simplist, most responsible thing to do is just make sure he’s completely withdrawn from the previous one. Have you contacted them to confirm whether or not that was done?