Is a commercial lease without commencing date valid ?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is a commercial lease without commencing date valid ?

My wife wants to open a store in the food court and sign a 60 month contract with
the landlord.

However, 10 months later, the food court is still under construction and we are
so exhausted and we just want to get out of the lease. Even though we have spend
almost 30,000, we just want to get out of the contract.

When we look at the lease, it turns out there is no commencement date, is this
contract valid, can we get out if it?


Asked on October 30, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, you may well be able to get out of the contract. For a contract to be valid and enforceable, there must be mutual agreement (a "meeting of the minds") as to all important ("material') terms of the agreement. Commencement date is clearly material, since duration cannot be calculated without it and you don't know when you start getting the benefit of the agreement. Without a commencement date, there can be no mutual agreement or meeting of the minds as to it--how, after all, can you agree to something not even specified? Therefore, the lack of a commencement date may mean that there is not the necessary agreement, and so contract is not enforceable. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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