742 P.2d 1219 (Utah App. 1987), 860121, Crismon v. Western Co. of North America

Docket Nº:860121-CA.
Citation:742 P.2d 1219
Opinion Judge:GREENWOOD, Judge:
Party Name:Thomas F. CRISMON, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. The WESTERN COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA, a Delaware corporation, Defendant and Respondent.
Attorney:Walter P. Faber, Jr., David J. Hodgson, Watkins & Faber, Salt Lake City, for plaintiff and appellant. John R. Anderson, Beaslin, Nygaard, Coke & Vincent, Vernal, for defendant and respondent. Before GREENWOOD, ORME and BILLINGS, JJ.
Case Date:September 11, 1987
Court:Court of Appeals of Utah

Page 1219

742 P.2d 1219 (Utah App. 1987)

Thomas F. CRISMON, Plaintiff and Appellant,

v.

The WESTERN COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA, a Delaware

corporation, Defendant and Respondent.

No. 860121-CA.

Court of Appeals of Utah.

September 11, 1987

Page 1220

Walter P. Faber, Jr., David J. Hodgson, Watkins & Faber, Salt Lake City, for plaintiff and appellant.

John R. Anderson, Beaslin, Nygaard, Coke & Vincent, Vernal, for defendant and respondent.

Before GREENWOOD, ORME and BILLINGS, JJ.

OPINION

GREENWOOD, Judge:

Plaintiff Crismon appeals the trial court's judgment of no cause of action after the court found that a binding lease was not formed between the parties.

Sometime before December, 1981, Crismon began building duplexes on five lots (4, 5, 6, 7 and 8) in Vernal, Utah. As of December, 1981, construction was ninety percent complete on lots 4 and 5, and foundations had been installed on lots 6, 7 and 8.

In about mid December, 1981, Crismon met with Joe Eppes, manager of housing for the Western Company of North America (Western), to discuss leasing Crismon's duplexes. Western, an oil field service company, needed housing for its employees in Vernal, Utah. On January 11, 1982, Eppes sent Crismon a letter stating:

Western ... will enter into a lease agreement on five (5) duplexes....

....

The basic term of agreement is that Western shall enter into a five (5) year lease payable $540. per unit per month with a 6% annual escalation clause....

Lessor shall be responsible for basic maintenance and management of said units.

I am having our Legal Department prepare a lease based on the general agreements.

On January 15, 1982, Western began paying rent on the two completed units. 1 On February 18, 1982, Crismon sent Eppes a letter stating that the terms contained in the January 11 letter were acceptable with the following modifications: 1) one of the lots (lot 7) would be unavailable due to a Department of Energy easement; 2) the covered carport in one unit would be eliminated; 3) first and last month's rent would be due and payable at the time the leases were executed and agreed upon; and 4) rent escalations would become effective on the first day of each lease year without notice. In closing, the letter stated, "Please inform me as to your position regarding the above changes so that we may proceed toward a final agreement in this matter."

On February 18, 1982, Crismon obtained $100,000 in construction financing for lots 6, 7 and 8. On March 22, 1982, Eppes sent Crismon a lease which was signed by Western's director of real estate and facilities construction. The lease included the following provisions:

1) Term--all units would be ready no later than May 1, 1982;

2) Rent--lessor may escalate rent by the lesser of 6% per year or the fair market rental rate for comparable units;

3) Maintenance--lessor shall maintain the units;

Page 1221

4) Insurance--lessor indemnifies lessee to the extent of lessor's insurance coverage; and

5) Default by lessor--if lessor breaches, lessee may either cure the breach and deduct the cost thereof from rent or terminate the lease.

By letter dated April 1, Crismon informed Eppes of his dissatisfaction with that lease and enclosed an unsigned lease...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP