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Lease agreement termination

Discussion in 'Rental Agreements & Subleases' started by ken rudminsky, Nov 17, 2020.

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  1. ken rudminsky

    ken rudminsky Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Pennsylvania
    Lease agreement's Term of Tenancy section has the original 12 months term and then a renewal clause which only states "Renews automatically for one year". Usually a renewal clause has additional wording regarding lease termination with a written notice within x number of days, etc, but this one does not. Long term tenant's been living there for 10 years, but landlord wants to end the lease at the expiration of the current term.
    In this case, is it assumed by default that lease agreement can be terminated with a written notice at the end of the current annual period? Just not sure what the legal interpretation is if for example tenant wants to stay for another year and refuses to vacate.

    Thanks
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    No. Nothing gets "assumed" in contract law. It's either in the contract or it isn't. However, statutes can, and often, do impose requirements to a contract that do not necessarily appear in the contract.

    I am reluctant to render an opinion based on one sentence taken out of context. However, the PA landlord-tenant statute has the following section:

    68 P.S. § 250.201
    § 250.201. Leases for not more than three years
    Real property, including any personal property thereon, may be leased for a term of not more than three years by a landlord or his agent to a tenant or his agent, by oral or written contract or agreement.

    https://govt.westlaw.com/pac/Browse...ansitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)

    In your case, the contract was procured or created by the landlord (likely so) and proffered to the tenant on a take it or leave it bases (also likely) then the landlord is presumed to have knowledge of the terms and conditions of of his contract and is bound by them.

    I believe, based on the limited information you have provided, that the landlord is stuck with another year if the tenant desires to stay.

    You are welcome to upload the entire lease. Redacting, of course, any identifying information.
     
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I would say that where the lease agreement is not clear, follow the state statute.
     
  4. ken rudminsky

    ken rudminsky Law Topic Starter New Member

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    First of - thanks for the help!
    Here's the lease.
    So the question is - the way the term of tenancy clause is written, will i be able to terminate this lease on May 1st or it will renew again? The way it's written is like a perpetual lease...
     

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  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I'm surprised that it was recommended that you post the lease. Detailed contract review (which is what this is) is beyond the scope of an internet forum. You really need to take your contract to a local attorney for review.
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    No it isn't. The lease illustrates why I don't like to make comments based on one sentence out of context. You didn't mention that the first year of the lease was from May 1 2006 to April 30 2007. That's a critically important detail because the handwritten sentence under that says "Renews automatically for one year." That says, to me, that it renews automatically for the one year period May 1 2007 to April 30 2008. It does not say, to me, that it automatically renews every year for another year. So, no, it's not a perpetual lease, but it is a year to year tenancy per 250.202:

    View Document - Unofficial Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes from Westlaw

    I don't see anything in the lease regarding notice of termination and there is nothing in the statute regarding a tenant giving notice of termination. However there is a requirement in 250.501 for the landlord to give 30 days notice when the lease is for more than one year.

    https://www.thelpa.com/PA_landlord_tenant_act.pdf

    Seems fair for you to give at least 30 days written notice that you aren't going to renew for May 1 2021.

    Unfortunately, my opinions, for the two cents they are worth, might not be the end of it because you still have omitted something that might be important. Clause 18 refers to Amendment A - Tenant Rules and Regulations which is incorporated into the lease by reference. Might be something in there that modifies or expands the agreement.

    I do agree that, if any doubts, you should have the lease reviewed by an attorney.
     
    ken rudminsky likes this.

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