The plaintiff leased property from the defendant for a term of years. The lease provided that the lessor should repair damage from fire and that "the tenancy shall not be terminated unless such repairs shall require more than ninety days." A fire occurred which damaged the property so badly that it could not be repaired within ninety days. The lessor took the position that the tenancy had automatically terminated with the occurrence of the fire. The lessee filed a bill for a declaratory judgment, claiming that under the terms of the lease he had the option either to terminate or to insist on the reconstruction of the building and the continuance of the lease. On appeal from judgment for the defendant dismissing the bill, held, affirmed. The language used was construed as effecting automatic termination. The provision, though framed in the negative, expresses an affirmative intention that, should the building be damaged by fire so that it cannot be rebuilt or repaired within ninety days, the lease shall automatically come to an end. Molofsky v. Sigal, (Va. 1949) 54 S.E. (2d) 865.
Alan C. Boyd,
LANDLORD AND TENANT-INTERPRETATION OF CLAUSE IN A LEASE PROVIDING FOR TERMINATION IN EVENT OF DESTRUCTION OF PREMISES,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol48/iss5/17