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Crechale & Polles, Inc. v. Smith

Mississippi Supreme Court
295 So. 2d 275 (1974)


Facts

Crechale & Polles, Inc. (Crechale) (plaintiff) leased property to Smith (defendant) for five years. Near the end of lease, Smith learned that the new building that Smith planned to occupy next would not be ready until a month or two after Smith’s current lease ended. Smith claimed that Crechale orally agreed to extend the lease on a month-to-month basis. Crechale wrote Smith a letter denying the existence of an oral agreement to extend the lease on a month-to-month basis and demanding that Smith vacate the premises. Smith paid an additional month’s rent at the end of the lease. Crechale accepted the rent payment. The next month, Smith paid another month’s rent, marked “final payment,” and attempted to tender the premises to Crechale. Crechale refused the payment. After Smith moved out, and over three months after the original lease had expired, Crechale notified Smith that Crechale was electing to treat Smith’s holdover as creating a new lease for one year. Crechale sued Smith for a full year’s rent, asserting that a landlord may treat a holdover as a one-year renewal of the original lease under state law. The trial court found Smith not liable for rent as a holdover tenant and awarded Crechale back rent for only one month.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rodgers, J.)

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