My Dog Ate My Lease Renewal Notice

CRE Lit Blog Post - 050819If a tenant wants to renew its lease and fails to send the landlord written notice on time of its intent to renew, is the tenant out of luck?  Not necessarily.  Florida courts have consistently ruled that fairness may relieve a tenant from the consequences of failing to give notice to renew a lease where the failure is because of accident, fraud, surprise, mistake or some other special circumstance.  For example, when the president of a corporation was sick and sent in a renewal notice 8 days after the renewal deadline set forth in the lease had passed, a court held that fairness required the landlord to accept the renewal.  Typically, courts apply the following three-part test to determine if fairness requires the landlord to accept a late renewal: 1) the tenant’s delay was slight; 2) the delay did not prejudice the landlord and 3) failure to allow the renewal would cause the tenant “unconscionable hardship.”  Landlords should keep this test in mind when confronted with a late lease renewal.

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