Once a landlord elects to treat a tenant as a trespasser and refuses to extend the lease on a month-to-month basis, but fails to pursue his remedy of ejecting the tenant, and accepts monthly checks for rent due, he in effect agrees to an extension of the lease on a month-to-month basis.
This case involved a landlord-tenant dispute. Plaintiff landlord filed suit against defendant tenants for specific performance of a lease contract. The complaint alleged that the tenants became holdover tenants for a new term under the contract at the election of the landlord, and that the tenants owed rent due each month up to the filing of suit. The trial court held that the tenants were not liable as holdover tenants for an additional one-year term. The landlord appealed, and the appeals court affirmed.
Did plaintiff implicitly agree to an extension of the lease on a month-to-month basis?
The court reasoned that after receiving a letter from the tenants confirming an alleged agreement to extend the lease on a month-to-month basis, the landlord immediately wrote them and denied there was such an agreement, and demanded that they vacate the premises at the end of the lease. Then, the landlord accepted a check from the tenants for one month's rent. Thus, the court ruled that once the landlord elected to treat the tenants as trespassers and refused to extend the lease on a month-to-month basis, but failed to pursue its remedy of ejecting them, and accepted a check for rent due, the landlord in effect agreed to an extension of the lease on a month-to-month basis.