The Third Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined there were questions of fact about whether defendant tenant had exercised its option to renew the lease. The court noted that the date by which an option to renew must be exercised is for the benefit of the landlord and therefore can be waived by the landlord:
… [W]e agree with plaintiff that, to the extent that Supreme Court concluded that defendant could not have exercised the option to renew because the option lapsed after November 30, 2018, that finding was erroneous. Although an “optionee must exercise the option in accordance with its terms within the time and in the manner specified in the option” … , the relevant case law establishes that the notice provision associated with the option was “solely for plaintiff’s benefit as the landlord and may be waived, even in the absence of a written waiver” … . Here, plaintiff’s assertion that he confirmed and accepted defendant’s untimely election constitutes such waiver.
… [W]here an option is exercised and all of the essential and material terms of the parties’ agreement are provided for in the original lease, the fact that a party contemplates “the subsequent execution of a more formal writing [that was] not done will not impair [the] effectiveness” of the election … . Nor would plaintiff’s inquiry as to whether defendant would like a future option to renew render defendant’s exercise of the option conditional … .
The core question is whether defendant exercised its option to renew, as a matter of law. Moore v Schuler-Haas Elec. Corp., 2023 NY Slip Op 03739, Third Dept 7-6-23
Practice Point: The date by which an option to renew a leased is to be exercised is for the benefit of the landlord and therefore can be waived by the acceptance of an untimely election. The request for a new lease with the same material terms does not invalidate the election to renew.