Monk and Jenkins leased a building they owned to Tuneup Masters for 5 years. The lease contained a provision to extend the lease an additional 5 years by sending a certified or registered letter at least 6 months prior to the expiration of the lease. Within that 5 year period, the vice president of Tuneup Masters exercised the renewal option by delivering a letter to the U.S. Postal Service and having it certified. This letter to the landlords was lost in the mail. Not having received the letter, the landlords refused to renew the lease. Tuneup Masters claimed that the renewal was valid even though the certified letter was lost. Is Tuneup Masters correct? why or why not?
acceptance at time of mailing. mail- box rule
Tuneup Masters' claim that the renewal of the lease is valid even though the certified letter was lost depends on the legal principles surrounding contractual acceptance, particularly the "mailbox rule."
The mailbox rule states that acceptance of an offer is generally effective upon dispatch, or the moment it is put in the mail, rather than upon receipt. This means that if Tuneup Masters properly mailed the certified letter exercising their renewal option, their acceptance would be deemed valid, even if the landlords never received the letter.
In this case, the lease contained a provision stating that the renewal could be exercised by sending a certified or registered letter to the landlords at least 6 months prior to the expiration of the lease. Tuneup Masters' vice president exercised the renewal option by delivering a letter to the U.S. Postal Service and having it certified. By meeting the requirements outlined in the lease, Tuneup Masters followed the designated method for acceptance, which was mailing a certified letter.
The fact that the letter was lost in the mail does not negate Tuneup Masters' compliance with the lease provision. As long as Tuneup Masters can provide evidence that they properly mailed the letter and met the timeframe specified in the lease, they can argue that their acceptance was valid under the mailbox rule.
However, it is important to note that the specific wording and provisions of the lease agreement, as well as any applicable state or local laws, can impact the outcome of this situation. It is advisable for Tuneup Masters to consult with a lawyer to fully understand their rights and legal standing in this matter.