Is a lease renewal offerthat has beenaccepted via e-mail binding?

Our landlord offered to renew our lease via phone conversation; we accepted in that same conversation and I sent an e-mail to her almost immediately to confirm our agreement . Since then, she has gone back and forth many times, advising that she would not renew the lease, then advising that she would, and so on. There are at lease 10 e-mails and 40 pages involved. Each time she has offered to renew we have agreed to do so. Can her multiple e-mailed offers to renew the lease be binding?

Asked on July 29, 2010 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A lease is a contract between landlord and tenant.  A valid contract requires an offer and an acceptance.  A valid contract requires agreement on the essential terms.

The landlord made a valid offer to renew the lease by telephone.  You accepted by telephone and this formed a valid contract (renewal of the lease).  You then confirmed your acceptance by communicating your acceptance by e-mail to the landlord.  A valid acceptance can be communicated by any reasonable mode.  Communication of your acceptance by telephone and e-mail are reasonable modes of communication and establish that you have agreed to renewal of the lease on its stated terms.  The landlord's multiple offers to renew the lease are binding and your lease was renewed upon your acceptance.

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