SLOOOOOOOW Mail ….. Fuhgeddaboudit


Buy Soma Online Us To Us We’re all seeing and hearing clashing views on why the Postal Service’s delivery times are lengthening. Those views may differ, but there doesn’t appear to be any meaningful dispute that it now takes longer to get a letter than we’ve experienced in the last 30 or more years. We’re not going to get involved in the morass of election debates. Instead, Ruminations wants to cut through all of that fog and remind our friends that our mailed notices aren’t getting there as fast as they used to “get.” Worse for our industry, certified mail almost always took longer to reach its destination than “plain” first-class mail. So, when you read about how long the mail is now taking (and there’s been some private testing confirming longer delivery times), add more time if you use certified mail. And, if the commanding document demands “registered” mail, realize that “registered” is not “certified” mail. It takes even longer to arrive at its destination. [Read more…] Print

Exercising An Option – Can You Change Your Mind?

Print We agree with most judicial decisions, though there are a very few we think are misguided (read that as “wrong”). But, it isn’t very often at all when we’re not sure what we think. Today, we’ll present one of those, a “slip opinion” about whether a landlord could “withdraw” a notice when the lease didn’t say so – either way.

Buy Watson Diazepam The lease included a reasonably comprehensive set of provisions designed to allow a landlord to redevelop a multi-tenanted building, one with high-end retailers (and possibly others). The redevelopment, if implemented, would take up to three years before the building could be re-tenanted. The building had to be empty during the redevelopment.

Basically, the lease gave the landlord the right to “suspend” it for up to three years. During the “suspension,” it would be as if there was no lease. When the redevelopment was completed, the lease would spring back into effect, essentially as if time had stopped while the redevelopment was taking place. [Read more…]

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What’s In A Name When It Comes To Sending An Extension Notice?

Print We just looked at a court decision about a lease renewal notice and can’t make up our mind what we think about the result or about the wisdom of the issue having been litigated in the first place. We’ll begin with the story and conclude with the “wisdom” part. A national retail chain store had an important lease in a big city. The initial lease term was ending, but there was a 5- year extension term available upon the tenant’s sending of proper notice. It seems that the agreed-upon extension term rent was, in the aggregate, $3 million below what the then-market rent would have been. To most of us, that’s “big bucks.” In hindsight, a savvy landlord would regret making such a deal. Some might even be willing to spend some money to thwart or, let’s say, resist, a tenant’s efforts to exercise such an extension option. If, perhaps, there was only an 8-1/3% chance of doing so, would one spend $250,000? That’s 8-1/3% of $3 million. In the Appellate Court of Illinois decision (of August 26, 2019) we just read that is what happened. The landlord spent $125,000 (or so) to cover its successful tenant’s legal fees, and (presumably) a similar amount for its own fees (or, possibly less – we don’t really know). It lost. [Read more…] Print

Isn’t It Simple To Send A Notice? Apparently Not

Print In the six years of our Ruminating in this forum, we’ve written a lot about notices, renewal options, and waivers. We just came across an otherwise insignificant case (other than to the parties themselves) illustrating some of the points we’ve tried to make over the course of this blog’s life. Our story involves an unremarkable retail lease and a single, also unremarkable, lease amendment extending the original lease term for 20 years and granting the tenant a 5- year extension option thereafter. To exercise the extension option, the tenant was required to give 180 days’ prior irrevocable, written notice. The lease amendment did not specify what the notice had to say and did not give any “rules” for how a written notice needed to be given. Beyond those two substantive items, the lease amendment said that all other terms and conditions of the lease remained as originally set forth in the lease. [Read more…]

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Five Or More Take-Aways From A Single Mailbox (Rule)

Print There must be a backstory to the case Ruminations will look at today. But, first, we’ll ramble a little, touching on this ‘n that.

There’s a common law rule called the “mailbox rule” or if you are on the eastern side of the Atlantic in another English-speaking county, the “posting rule.” [The United States and Great Britain – two nations separated by a common language. Credit: George Bernard Shaw.] The rule says that, absent some other bar, an offer is accepted when it is presented to the postal service, put in the hands of a postal worker or placed in a mail box). Basically, absent saying otherwise, an offeror is deemed to have “appointed” the postal service as its agent for receipt of an acceptance. The risk of receipt is thus placed on the offeror. This rule applies in other situations, one of which is relevant to today’s story.

This is a good place to remind all readers to carefully review the Ruminations disclaimer at the bottom of the blog page. Today, our disclaimer clearly means that no reader should try to learn the law from our description of the “mailbox rule.” Our description is just a starting point for understanding its extent and, more importantly, its limitations. That having been said, don’t ignore that the rule exists. [Read more…]


Did You Get My Letter?


We’ve always wondered about an aspect of giving “notice,” but never having faced the particular issue, never went beyond “wondering.” Then, last week, we came across a Massachusetts Appellate Court’s decision touching on the issue. Ruminations can’t say that the outcome was very satisfying. So, we thought we’d toss it out for readers to think about. [That doesn’t mean we won’t share some of our observations, just that we don’t really have a conclusion (yet).]

Here’s the setup. A lease had a self-extension provision. Its term would roll over, a year at a time, unless either the landlord or tenant gave a “don’t do it again” notice. The particular provision read exactly as follows: [Read more…]


HUGE SALE: $20,000,000 Property For Only $300,000. Read All About It

Print What does an owner-landlord do when a tenant has a $300,000 purchase option for a property worth more than 20 million dollars? That question could be the end of today’s posting if we treated that as a rhetorical question. Other bloggers might do that, but not the erstwhile Ruminator. When the spread is over 20 million dollars, legal costs mean little. For students of the “expected value” approach, the breakeven point for a 1% chance of picking up those millions is $200,000. If you think there is a 5% chance, then spending a million dollars is fair value for such a lottery ticket. Hence, a case decided about a week ago by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit makes sense to us economically, but doesn’t help us with our abiding belief that a deal should be a deal. [Read more…]


Notices + Ambiguity: You Can’t Have It Both Ways

Print We’ve never seen it said this way, but it can’t be an original thought. [After all, there really are very, very few of them.] When it comes to an enforceable agreement (a “contract”), you can’t have it both ways. If you aren’t bound, they aren’t bound. It isn’t an enforceable contract. When it comes to “election” notices, the principle is the same. You can’t have it both ways. Why did that thought come to us this week? Answer: because two weeks ago we promised to talk about equivocal notices. That led us to ambiguities. To refresh reader’s memories, here’s what we learned constitutes an ambiguity: “Open to more than one interpretation.” That’s not the same as vagueness: “Not clearly or explicitly stated or expressed.” To say this in a different way, when words are vague, they are unclear; when they are ambiguous, each of the two or more meanings will be clear, but it won’t be clear which one was intended. [Read more…]