I live in Ohio and was on a one-year lease. The lease expired in May, but my landlord allowed me to go month-to-month after that. In July, I texted her asking if I could renew the lease. She replied that I could and that she would put together some documents to sign. This never happened.

For various reasons, I now need to move and was wondering if my text messages stating my intent to renew are legally binding.

2 Answers 2



If the texts are sufficiently precise that they constitute offer and acceptance then they would create a contract notwithstanding that “some documents” were never provided.

First, your offer must have been sufficiently clear that it was open to acceptance by a simple “yes” or “ok”. Given that you had a lease, a simple offer to have another one would be enough as “on the same terms” is implied.

Second, she must have accepted your offer unconditionally. “Yes, I’ll put together some documents to sign” is an unconditional acceptance even if the documents never appear. “Yes, I’ll put together some documents to sign first” or “Yes, I’ll put together some documents with the terms” aren’t. The first is a conditional acceptance and the condition wasn’t met. The second is a rejection with an intention to make a counter-offer that never eventuated.

Third, real estate is heavily regulated. There may be specific requirements (such as a particular form of contract, or that it be witnessed) that mean there is no binding lease even though there would be a contract at common law.


No. Your statements are not legally binding, nor are the landlord's.

Your statement indicated an intent to form the legal relationship between landlords and tenants, as did their reply. This alone is not sufficient without the other components of a contract, which would have been included in the "documents to sign" and their signing.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .