Does a Lease Provide a Lessee Right of Perpetual Renewal ?

In Hallock v. Kintzler (1943), 142 Ohio St. 287, 51 N.E.2d 905, the Ohio Supreme Court was called upon to determine whether a lease provided the lessee a right of perpetual renewal. At paragraphs one and two of the syllabus, the Supreme Court held that "perpetual leases are not favored by the law" and that "a lease will not be construed to create a right to perpetual renewal unless the language employed clearly indicates that it was the intention of the parties so to do." The Hallock lease provided for a one-year term that "'may be renewed from year to year at the same rental at the option of the lessee, provided, however, that said lessee shall give thirty (30) days written notice to the lessor of his intention so to renew.'" Id. at 288. The lessee contended that such language created a perpetual lease, renewable at his option during his lifetime, whereas the lessor argued that the lessee had the right to only a single, one-year renewal. The Supreme Court agreed with the lessor, noting that "general covenants as to right of renewal are usually limited to a single renewal unless an intention to create a perpetuity is clearly shown." Id. at 289. The court found that the above-quoted language did not clearly and unambiguously create a right to perpetual renewal.