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In a resedential lease, what does this paragraph mean?

No Waiver. The failure of either party to insist in any instance upon the strict keeping, observance or performance of any provision of this Lease or to exercise any election in this Lease shall not be construed as a waiver or relinquishment for the future of such provision, but the same shall continue and remain in full force and effect. No waiver or modification by either party of any provision of this Lease shall be deemed to have been made unless expressed in writing and signed by the party to be charged. The receipt and retention by the Landlord of Rent with knowledge of the breach of any provision of this Lease shall not be deemed a waiver of such breach.

Also is this considered a clause or provision?

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It means that if one party breaks the lease and the other party chooses not to enforce their rights in relation to the breach, it doesn't mean that they won't enforce their rights the next time that provision is breached unless they agree that in writing thereby changing the agreement.

Which may just be the longest coherent sentence I have ever written.

  • Isn't this assumed even if this wasn't written in the contract? – Guy McG Feb 29 '16 at 11:49
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    @GuyMcG: No. As a general rule, contracts under English law (other jurisdictions are likely to be similar) can be changed by "custom and practise". – Martin Bonner supports Monica Feb 29 '16 at 13:50
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    To the OP, if your lease has a "no pets" clause, but you get a pet hamster and the landlord doesn't throw you out, that doesn't mean they can't choose to enforce the "no pets" clause later when you get a Great Dane. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Feb 29 '16 at 13:52
  • @MartinBonner It also means, absent a great Dane, that they can't choose to enforce the "no pets" clause later because they suddenly decided they wanted you out and are using the hamster as an excuse. In some jurisdictions, however, the law overrules the lease on this one. If you can keep a pet "openly and notoriously" for three months in New York, then any anti-pet provisions of your lease become unenforceable with respect to that pet. – phoog Feb 29 '16 at 23:22
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    @phoog My reading of the face of the clause is that they can chose to throw you out for the hamster if they decide they don't like you. I think whether that works or not, is going to depend on the jurisdiction. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Mar 1 '16 at 6:22

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