Imagine you are a small business owner, and you enter a five-year commercial lease that naturally expires at the end of the year. The lease grants you an option to renew the lease, but to exercise the renewal option you must mail the commercial landlord a written notice no later than Nov. 31, 2023. On Nov. 15, 2023, you tell your rock-star office administrator to send the landlord the written lease renewal notice. Unfortunately, your office administrator made a typographical error that resulted in the lease-renewal notice being mailed to the wrong location. On Nov. 18, 2023, (a week before the Thanksgiving holidays), you speak with the landlord over the phone and provide verbal notice of your intent to renew the lease; and the landlord tells you that, while he doesn’t mind you staying on the property and doesn’t have any plans on leasing or selling the property, he needs the written notice. As soon as you get off the phone you immediately follow up with your office administrator to confirm that the lease renewal letter was sent; and she swears that it was mailed to the correct location. Over the holidays you become ill and do not recover until Dec. 5, 2023.

When you get back into the office you see the return receipt and realize that your office administrator mailed the renewal notice to the wrong location. You send another renewal notice to the landlord via overnight mail and receive confirmation that it was received by the landlord. You believe everything is fine and look forward to continuing your business. However, on Jan. 1, 2024, you receive correspondence from the landlord stating that he is rejecting your renewal notice because it is untimely. Is there anything that can be done to ensure that you can keep your business at that location? Or can the landlord remove the tenant and now lease the property a higher amount that matches the market?