Leases – Exercising option to renew
The commentary within all By Lawyers Leases Publications and 1001 Conveyancing Answers Reference manuals have been updated to include reference to the New South Wales Supreme Court decision in Kegran Pty Ltd v Warrik Pty Ltd  NSWSC 1357.
The court ordered the specific performance of an option to renew, after the lessor challenged the exercise of the option on the basis that the notice was not properly served by the lessee.
Notice of renewal was given by the lessee to the lessor by way of email, although the option to renew clause in the lease did not identify email as a valid method of service.
The court held that the language of the notice provisions was ‘facultative and not mandatory’, and that the lessee has validly exercised the option to renew by the email. The court stated that the notice provisions were not to be strictly applied to the exclusion of all other methods of service.
The decision in this case highlights that whether a lessee has validly exercised an option for renewal can depend on the interpretation of the terms of the lease when read as a whole.