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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Can Original Lease Be Terminated by Serving Due Notice Before Start of Lease Renewal

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Pennsylvania.

    On January 2, 2009 we replied to Landlord's offer of lease renewal (an addendum to original lease), agreeing to rental increase but requesting a shorter lease period. Landlord crossed out the new expiry date we proposed (May 31, 2010) and wrote "June 30, 2010" on our letter. The Landlord also verbally agreed to give us a earlier expiry date if it was possible nearer the end of the existing lease.

    On June 2, 2009 which is the required 30 days' notice for termination of the original/current lease, we further requested that Landlord shorten the lease renewal to December 2009 as our student visa requires us to leave the country upon completion of study by then. Landlord insisted on the new lease expiry (June 30, 2010) it wrote on our letter and refused to accept our notice to terminate the original lease ending July 31, 2009. [We made the mistake of referring to "June 30, 2010" as the "earlier agreed date" in our email, when it was left as a tentative date at that point in time.]

    a) Was there a binding agreement for the renewal, given that there was no exact matching of the renewal periods and no signing on the original addendum (but a reply on different terms via a letter)?
    b) If there is a binding agreement, does the renewal take effect from January 2 when we replied to Landlord, or upon the expiry of the original lease on July 31?
    c) Could we rely on verbal agreement of Landlord to explore further shortening of the lease to dispute the Landlord's position ?
    d) Notwithstanding a) to c), could we still excise a clause in the original lease and serve 60 days' notice to terminate it, thereby stopping any renewal? [It is stated in the "auto-renewal" clause in the lease: The Lease will renew on the terms set forth in Landlord's renewal notice if Tenant does not send notice ending the Lease ]
    e) Could Landlord exercise remedies to recover rent till June 30, 2010 if we were to vacate by July 31, 2009 at the expiry of the current/original lease, given that it had many other similar units which are still listed "available for rent" today i.e. no detrimental reliance to warrant estoppel? [We also offered to cover administrative costs incurred but Landlord rejected the gesture. ]
    f) Would the reason for us not renewing till June 30, 2010 i.e. our visa requires us to leave the country upon completion of study, be viewed favourably on grounds of equity?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Can Original Lease Be Terminated by Serving Due Notice Before Start of Lease Rene

    A. You haven't given us enough information to answer. If you accepted your landlord's counter-offer, then you accepted it. If not, then his counter-offer was a rejection of your offer.

    B. You were renewing your lease past the end of its term, right? Then the renewal starts at the end of the current lease term.

    C. See A.

    D. That relates to automatic renewal, right? If you agreed to renew, it's irrelevant.

    E. If you break your lease, your landlord can attempt to recover whatever damages are due as a result of your breach of the lease contract. I won't speculate as to what the damages may be.

    F. No. Going out of status doesn't get you out of a lease.

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