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Where a lease is silent as to where the rent shall be paid, the payment is to be made either at the leased premises or at the domicile of the debtor, and this presupposes, of course, that the lessor is to call for his rent. Where there is no specification in the lease as to the place where the rent should be paid, the law prescribes that payment must be made at the dwelling of the debtor. La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 2157.
Edwards alleges that on August 1, 1930, he leased to Standard Oil Co., for a filling station, certain premises in Ponchatoula, La., for a period of two years, with privilege of renewal for two years more; the monthly rental being one cent per gallon of gasoline or oil sold from said premises, and being payable on the 15th day of the month following that in which the oil was sold. The rent due July 15, 1931, was not paid when it became due; instead, Edwards was 'tendered a check for $ 35.19 [amount of said rent] on the 21st of the month'. On the same day Edwards returned said check and said that, 'by reason of the non-payment of the rent when due,' he is entitled (due notice having been given Standard Oil) to have Standard Oil vacate the premises and deliver possession thereof to him. In an action to recover possession of leased premises on account of nonpayment of rent, the district court entered a judgment in favor of Edwards. The court of appeals of Louisiana affirmed.
Did the district court err in ruling that recovery of possession was proper?
The lease does not set forth where the rent is to be paid; and the petition does not allege, but on the contrary inferentially negatives that any demand for payment was ever made on defendant. And the fact is that a check for the amount of the rent was mailed by defendant to its agent at Ponchatoula on July 10th; but, owing to some oversight, or perhaps some fault in mail deliveries, it did not reach plaintiff until July 21st, as aforesaid. By formally tendering the rent after maturity, but prior to default and to the filing of this action, Standard Oil effectively stripped the landlord of his right to cancel the lease on the ground alleged.'