Tenant Took Too Long to Exercise Purchase Option
What Happened: After evicting a liquor store tenant, a landlord sued for immediate possession of the property. But the tenant didn’t want to leave and offered to buy the property, citing the following option in the lease:
Tenant has option to purchase property at the end of first year lease for $320,000. The next five years shall be at market value or CPI. The remaining five years will also be at market value or CPI.
The problem with the tenant’s claim, as the landlord was all too keen to point out, is that the lease was signed back in 2010 and the tenant didn’t seek to exercise the option until 2018, well after the five years were up.
Ruling: The Florida appeals court upheld the lower court’s ruling that the option had expired and awarding the landlord possession of the property.
Reasoning: There was another problem with the tenant’s case other than the timing—namely the letter purporting to exercise the purchase order, which read in its entirety:
Pursuant to the paragraph titled LEASE PAYMENTS on page one of the Lease, my client hereby exercises his option to purchase the Premises as defined therein for its “market value or CPI.”
This language was “too indefinite” to be enforceable, according to the court.
- FM 3 Liquors, Inc. v. Bien-Aime, 2021 Fla. App. LEXIS 5248, 46 Fla. L. Weekly D 840, 2021 WL 1395217