Crechale & Polles, Inc. v. Smith

Procedural History: Lower court said lessees not liable as holdover tenants for an additional term of 1 year. Facts: Lease was for 5 years. Near the end of the lease, lessor informed that the new building he was planning to occupy would not be complete for a couple of months after the end of his lease. ○ When lessee went to get an extension on the lease, there was an alleged oral K for the lease extension. ○ Lessee then sent lessor a letter confirming oral agreement to extend lease on a monthly basis. ○ Lessor sent back letter denying oral agreement, and requested that lessee vacate the premises by end of lease term. Letter also said lessee would be liable to double rent for any holdover. ○ Lease ended Feb 6. Lessee paid rent for period Feb-Mar, and lessor accepted the payment. ○ Lessee paid rent for period Mar-Apr, but lessee did not accept payment. ○ 2 1/2 mos after lease end, lessor sent letter that since premises hold over beyond lease period, it was being treated as a renewal for another lease term of a year. Lessor filed the suit requesting lessees to pay monthly rent up until the filing of the suit, less the rent paid. Issue: Whether the lessees are required to pay rent for a new term of the rental K as a holdover tenant. - No. Holding: Affirmed.

Reasoning: the landlord has 2 options when a tenant remains in possession (holdover) after the termination of the lease. He can either evict him or treat him as a tenant (renewal of the lease). The landlord first requested that tenants vacate the premises, but he failed to pursue the remedy for eviction. He cannot later change his position and renew the lease for another year. Additionally, he accepted the payment for the month after the lease termination, so he implied that he accepted to the lease extension, and the rental on a month-to-month basis.

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