Welk v. Bidwell

In Welk v. Bidwell, 136 Conn. 603, 73 A.2d 295 (1950), the landlord and the tenant had agreed to a month- to-month lease of a tobacco barn for $ 10 per month. Welk v. Bidwell, supra, 136 Conn. at 605. Prior to the expiration of a month's term, the landlord informed the tenant that he was increasing the rent to $ 125. Id. The tenant held over, refused to pay $ 125 per month and continued to pay $ 10 per month. Id. The landlord brought an action to collect the difference between $ 10 and $ 125 per month. Id., at 604-605. "The fact that the tenant in Welk held over in possession of the property after the expiration of his lease for the month . . . did not itself create a lease for the subsequent month. The parties were free to make a contract for the future occupancy of the property. If there had been no dispute between them as to the terms of the future occupancy, the holding over by the tenant and the acquiescence therein by the landlord would have raised such a contract by implication. . . . Indeed, if the landlord had specified terms for the future occupancy of the property, the continuance in possession by the tenant without objection by him to those terms might have been construed as an acceptance of those terms and thus a contract would have been implied from the conduct of the parties. . . . But if there had actually been no meeting of the minds either because of ambiguity or uncertainty in negotiations or because the negotiations had not been completed, then, of course, there could have been no contract. . . . If a tenant remains in possession without the consent of the landlord, there is no contract for an extended term to be implied from the holding over. . . . A fortiori, where the parties are in definite dispute as to any of the essential terms of a new tenancy, certainly no lease can be implied from the fact that the tenant holds over." Id., at 607-608. The Welk court noted that the landlord could not impose the increased rent on the tenant and that the tenant's refusal to pay left the parties without a contract. Id., at 608. The tenant was not a trespasser, as he had entered into possession of the property under a lease that gave him the right to possession. Id. "The plaintiff could have revoked that right and recovered the right of possession by peaceable entry or by way of summary process." Id.