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Lack of evidence allows periodontists to leave office space

January 26, 2015

Having failed to produce sufficient evidence that the terms of a lease agreement had been waived, a landlord will have to allow a pair of tenants to vacate the property with no financial penalty.

Curt Pearman filed a complaint for breach of contract against T. Ryan Jackson and Kristin Jackson after the periodontists moved from their office in the Greenwood Professional Park in May 2011. Their lease expired in December 2010, but the lease agreement allowed for the tenants to continue to occupy their space and make payment on a month-to-month basis.

To renew the lease for another three years, according to the agreement, the Jacksons would have had to give written notice to Pearman six months before their lease expired. They did not provide any written notice prior to December 2010. In March 2011, they sent a notice to Pearman stating they did not want to continue on a monthly basis and would be leaving the premises in two months.

Pearman sued, claiming the Jacksons had entered into another three-year lease by remaining in the office after the expiration of the first lease. Consequently, they were bound to pay the rent for the entirely of the second lease.

Johnson Superior Court disagreed and granted summary judgment in favor of the Jacksons.

On appeal, Pearman contended he waived the written notice requirement. Therefore, he argued, the Jacksons’ continued payment of rent established that the lease term was renewed.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in Curt Pearman d/b/a/ Greenwood Professional Park v. T. Ryan Jackson and Kristin M. Jackson, 41A04-1408-CC-381.

Pointing to the lease agreement and Carsten v. Eickhoff, 323 N.E.2d 664 (Ind. Ct. App. 1975), the Court of Appeals found that Pearman’s argument that the Jacksons had renewed their lease by remaining in the office was insufficient. In addition, the court noted Pearman had not presented any properly designated evidence to establish there had been a waiver of the written notice requirement needed to renew the lease.

The Court of Appeals found the clear and unambiguous terms of the lease agreement support the trial court’s conclusion.

 

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