Did Modification Regarding Air Conditioning and Heating Alter Fundamental Possessory Interests ?
In Cuvier Press Club v. Fourth & Race St. Assoc., Ltd. (1981), 1 Ohio App.3d 30, 35, 1 Ohio B. 150, 439 N.E.2d 443, the parties negotiated a modification to lease terms regarding the lessor's provision of air conditioning and heat for the leased premises.
The plaintiff argued, in part, that the modification was unenforceable because it was not executed in accordance with R.C. 5301.01.
The court stated that its determination turned on the meaning of an interest in real property, as contemplated in R.C. 5301.01.
After reviewing the common law of lease agreements, the court found that a modification to a lease constitutes a conveyance of an interest in real property, and requires compliance with R.C. 5301.01, only where it alters fundamental possessory interests, i.e., the physical space of the leased premises or the duration of the lease.
The court determined that the modification regarding air conditioning and heating did not alter such fundamental possessory interests and, therefore, did not constitute an interest in real property and was not subject to the requirements of R.C. 5301.01.