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Scott E. Mollen

Landlord-Tenant—Lease addendum Language As to a Renewal Lease Was Unenforceable, Based on the Doctrine of Definiteness—Lacked Amount of Rent and Duration of the Lease

A landlord commenced a holdover proceeding. The landlord had rented the premises to the tenant commencing May 1, 2009 and ending on April 30, 2010. The petition alleged that the tenant had continued as a month-to-month tenant, that a thirty-day notice of termination (notice) had been served, ending the tenancy as of Feb. 28, 2017. The tenant moved to dismiss the petition.   The tenant submitted a lease dated March 24, 2009, for the term commencing May 1, 2009 and ending April 30, 2010. That lease provided for a monthly rent of $1,300 and a lease addendum (addendum) further provided, that “[a]fter one year period tenant can remain in the house as long as tenant needs, tenant must be offered a renewal of the lease by landlord.”

The tenant argued that it had never been offered a renewal lease and therefore, the landlord violated the terms of the lease. The tenant further asserted that an offer of a renewal lease was a condition precedent to terminate the tenancy and that the lease had been extended for an additional year by the landlord’s acceptance of the same rent for the last seven years.

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