Tenant Can't Renew by Conduct When Lease Requires Renewal by Written Notice
What Happened: A lease provided that it would expire in July 2016 unless the tenant exercised its renewal option. The tenant acknowledged that it never provided the required written notice but contended that it renewed via its conduct, noting that the landlord accepted its monthly rent without objection for years after the purported expiration date. When the landlord sought to raise the rent, the tenant sued for over $250,000 in damages for a laundry list of alleged lease violations.
Ruling: The California state court dismissed the tenant’s case.
Reasoning: The court said the tenant didn’t properly exercise its renewal option. Renewal by conduct doesn’t fly when the lease expressly requires the tenant to exercise the renewal option in writing. As a result, the lease expired and the tenancy became month to month after July 2016. That meant that the landlord was no longer bound by the terms of the original lease. And since its claims stemmed from violations of those now defunct terms, the tenant’s case against the landlord was invalid.
- Johnson v. Dunn Inv. Props., 2021 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5921, 2021 WL 4236881