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Becar v. Flues

Court of Appeals of the State of New York
Apr 4, 1876
64 N.Y. 518 (N.Y. 1876)

Opinion

Submitted March 23, 1876

Decided April 4, 1876

Wm. W. Badger for the appellant. E. More for the respondent.


From the facts disclosed in this case, the loss occasioned by not renting the premises, by either of the parties, was unnecessary. The evidence tends to establish that the defendant's testator, in February or March, 1874, leased the premises by parol of the plaintiff, by her son, for one year from the first of May thereafter, the testator then being in possession under a prior lease. The testator died in April, and the family not desiring to retain the house, the defendant gave notice that they would not retain it, and on the first of May they abandoned the possession and tendered the key, which was declined. This action is brought for three-quarters' rent.

The defendant proved that the plaintiff might have rented the house for nearly as much as the defendant's testator was to pay for the same. A verdict was directed for the plaintiff. It is claimed by the defendant that between the making of the contract and the time for taking possession the contract was executory, and that the defendant having refused to perform it, the plaintiff could only recover the actual damages, which, within the general rule, the plaintiff was bound to make as small as possible. ( 28 N.Y., 72; 43 id., 237.) While the rule of law invoked is well settled, I feel constrained to hold that it is not applicable to this contract. The error is in the position that this was an executory contract. This court decided, in Young v. Dake ( 5 N.Y., 463), that a parol lease for a year, to commence in futuro, is valid and obligatory. Such a lease vests a present interest in the term. It is assignable before entry, and the lessee can bring ejectment if possession is withheld. ( Whitney v. Allaire, 1 N.Y., 307, and authorities cited.) The same principle was recognized in Trull v. Granger ( 8 N.Y., 115). It was there held that although ejectment would lie, the tenant might also bring an action for damages upon the implied agreement to give possession, or in tort for a violation of duty. If the landlord could not rescind, the tenant could not. The rights and liabilities in this respect are mutual. Each party acted upon their strict legal rights, and while the result we can see will operate harshly upon the defendant and the estate, we are compelled to adjudge the law as we find it. When the plaintiff refused to accept the rescission, the defendant still held the term, and was responsible for the rent of the house. The lease, although verbal, is as binding as if in writing. It granted in presenti a term of one year in the premises, which the testator agreed to pay for. It is like the sale of specific personal property to be delivered. In such a case the title passes to the vendee, and of course he is liable for the purchase-money.

I have examined the other points made, and do not think any of them tenable. No question was made in this court as to the propriety of allowing costs.

The judgment must be affirmed.

All concur.

Judgment affirmed.


Summaries of

Becar v. Flues

Court of Appeals of the State of New York
Apr 4, 1876
64 N.Y. 518 (N.Y. 1876)
Case details for

Becar v. Flues

Case Details

Full title:DEBORAH C. BECAR, Respondent, v . EBERHARD FLUES, Executor, etc., Appellant

Court:Court of Appeals of the State of New York

Date published: Apr 4, 1876

Citations

64 N.Y. 518 (N.Y. 1876)

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