Procedural Posture

Defendants, seller and purchaser of real property, appealed from the entire judgment of the Superior Court of Ventura County (California) and plaintiff lessee appealed from that portion of the judgment which failed to give the lessee credit for rentals paid and interest thereon. The action arose when the lessee sought specific performance of the terms of the lease granting lessee first option to buy a parcel of land from the seller.

Nakase Law Firm explains intentional interference with contractual relations California

Overview

The seller and the lessee entered into a lease agreement that provided to the lessee a first right to exercise his intent to purchase the property. The seller and buyers entered in negotiations and a contract of sale was executed. After learning of the sale, the lessee stated his interest to exercise the first right of refusal to the parties and brought suit for specific performance. The trial court entered judgment in favor of the lessee and both parties appealed the decision. The buyers asserted that the provision of the lease relating to the lessee’s right of first refusal was not definite to permit specific performance. The court held that the agreement was sufficiently certain to make the precise act to be done clearly ascertainable. The court held that a party who prevents fulfillment of a condition of his own obligation commits a breach and cannot rely on such condition to defeat his liability. The lessee contended that he should have been credited rental payments made to the buyers. The court held that unless the lease provides otherwise, a tenant is not relieved of the obligation to pat rent by notification of his intention to exercise his right to purchase.

Outcome

The judgment for plaintiff decreeing terms and conditions of sale was affirmed by the court.