February 10, 2014

Crechale & Polles, Inc. v. Smith - 295 So.2d 275 (1974) - Supreme Court of Mississippi

FACTS: Defendant asked to extend his leave on a month-to-month basis while he was waiting to move into his new place.  Facts are unclear but Crechale apparently first said he would not let Smith stay and then when Smith stayed and payed rent Crechale cashed the check.  Eventually Smith paid what he thought was to be his final payment but Crechale's attorney wrote him a letter saying they were renewing the terms of his lease.

HISTORY: Court awarded complainants $1750 in back rent payment and $760 for damages to the premises as well as court costs.

ISSUE: Did the appellees become holdover tenants for a new term under the contract at the election of the landlord appellant and that appellees owed appellant the rent due each month up to the filing of the suit less the rent paid?

HOLDING: No

RATIONALE: Landlord had the option when the lease expired to decide how he wanted to treat the tenant.  He began by treating the tenant as a trespasser and then began accepting monthly checks for rent, he effectively agrees to an extension of the lease on a month-to-month basis.

DISPOSITION: Affirmed