Response or Comment
Among the very many difficult problems arising under the STATUTE OF FRAUDS not the least troublesome has been that of surrender of estates by "operation of law." The Statute (29 Car. II, c.3,§3,) provided that "no leases * * * shall * * * be assigned, granted, or surrendered, unless it be by deed or note in writing, * * * or by act and operation of law." Under a number of varying situations it has been held that a surrender by operation of law had been accomplished. See 2 TIFFANY, LANDLORD AND TENANT, §190. In Lyon v. Reed, 13 M. & W. 285, Baron PARKE, after referring to a number of such situations, said: "It is needless to multiply examnples; all the old cases will be found to depend on the principle to which we have adverted, namely, an act done by or to the owner of a particular estate, the validity of which he is estopped from disputing, and which could not have been done if the particular estate continued to exist. The law there says, that the act itself amounts to a surrender. In such case it will be observed there can be no question of intention. It takes place independently, and even in spite of intention."
Aigler, Ralph W. "Reletting on Abandonment by Tenant as Surrender by Operation of Law." Mich. L. Rev. 15 (1917): 659-60.