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  • Plaza Freeway Limited Partnership v. First M…Plaza Freeway Limited Partnership v. First Mountain Bank
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Plaza Freeway Limited Partnership v. First Mountain Bank

California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District
81 Cal. App. 4th 616 (2000)


Facts

A landlord and tenant executed a lease that required the tenant to construct a building to be used as a bank. The term was for 25 years, beginning either 180 days after the landlord delivered the property to the tenant, or the day the bank opened, whichever was earlier. The tenant could exercise an option to renew the lease by notifying the landlord of the intent to renew at least one year prior to the expiration of the 25-year term. The lease further required the tenant to certify in writing to any future purchaser of the property as to the validity of the lease. By its terms, the lease bound all successors and assignees of the original landlord and tenant. The bank opened on June 14, 1974, but it was unclear when the property had been delivered to the tenant. In 1992, Chartered Pension Investors, a successor to the original landlord, sold the premises to Plaza Freeway Limited Partnership (plaintiff) and presented to First Mountain Bank (the bank) (defendant), a successor tenant, an estoppel certificate that indicated a lease term beginning November 1, 1973 and ending October 31, 1998. The bank signed and delivered the certificate to Plaza without making any changes. On January 26, 1996, the bank sent Plaza a letter demonstrating its intent to renew. Plaza denied the request because it was not made at least one year before the October 31, 1998 expiration date indicated in the estoppel certificate. The bank continued to occupy the premises beyond October 31, 1998. Plaza brought an unlawful detainer action. The trial court found in the bank’s favor, concluding that the lease term ended on June 30, 1999 despite the contents of the estoppel certificate. Plaza appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gaut, J.)

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