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In the recent case of Crown Melbourne Limited v Cosmopolitan Hotel (VIC) Pty Ltd & Anor  HCA 26 the question before the court was to determine whether a promise which has not been incorporated in writing into a lease contract can be binding on the parties in term of renewal or not. This was a significant case in relation to the doctrine of estoppel. The court in this case considered that whether a verbal assurance provided in an informal manner by a land lord to the tenant at the time of negotiation was enough to bind the landlord to grant an option to renew the lease for a further period. In this case the tenant had requested for a long lease during the time of negotiation. The renewal clause was not documented by the landlord however a representation was made by them that the tenant would be “looked after at renewal time”. The court in this case found that there was no collateral contract between the parties as the statement cannot be understood by the application of the objective test to be a binding term of contract and was a mere vaguely encouraging statement. The claim for estoppel was also held not be succeed as the statement was not adequate to convey to a reasonable person that a future lease would be granted without a doubt. This was because the court was not able to find that the party relied on the representation to get into the contract.
Inwards v Baker (1965) 2 QB 29 is another famous case in Australia where it was provided by the court that even if a contract is not created between the parties the doctrine of promissory estoppel can be used by the court. However there must be a significant promise made by a party and not a merely vague statement.
Giumelli v Giumelli  196 CLR 101 is a case where it had been provided by the court that equitable interest can be given to the aggrieved party instead of the application of the doctrine of promissory estoppel in the ends of justice where the doctrine cannot be applied.
In the case of Legione v Hateley  152 CLR 406 it was provided by the court that a mere statement cannot be regarded as a contractual representation if they are vague and unclear. In this case a statement provided by the secretary that “I think that’ll be alright, but I’ll have to get instructions” was interpreted by the as non-binding as the position was left undetermined till further instructions was received by the secretary. Thus the claim made by the plaintiff relying upon such statement was abolished by the court.
In the case of Sargent v ASL  HCA 40 it question before the court was to determine the termination of a contract. In this case the contract between the parties had a term which stated that the contract can be rescinded if a specific condition in relation to contract is not fulfilled. The defendant in this case had clear knowledge that the condition had not been fulfilled but still took the benefits of the contract in form of rent for a period of two years. The defendant then suddenly rescinded the contract. The court ruled that the recession is not valid as the actions of the defendant as her actions waived her right and resulted in an irrevocable affirmation of the contract.
In the case of Waltons Stores (Interstate) Ltd v Maher  HCA 7 the question before the court was related to promissory estoppel. In this case the defendant had not signed the lease but and kept the plaintiff under an apprehension that the deal is on and relying on such apprehension the plaintiff committed an act to its detriment. The court held that the defendants are not entitled to rescind the contract because of their actions as equity would intervene.
In the case of Austotel v Franklins Selfserve Pty Ltd (1989) 16 NSWLR 582 it was ruled by the court that where the parties to the contract refused to committee to a term of a contract deliberately it is not unconscionable for one of the party to rescind the contract. In addition it was said by the court that it is not right for the court to settle a term which was left open deliberately by the parties to the contract.
In the given circumstances there is a lease between GrabUrCash Casinos Pty Ltd (“GUCC”) and Salt Baez in relation to a restaurant in the casino. GUCC had made it clear to Baez that the lease as about to expire in 2016. A new lease was presented to Baez by GUCC which did not have any term related to renewal. It was further provided in the lease that a three months prior notice would be provided to Baez in relation to whether the lease would be renewed or terminated and on what basis. When Baez insisted for a renewal term, GUCC representatives said him that “we’ll look after you at renewal time.” These circumstances can be compared to that of the Crown case discussed above as they have similar facts. Applying the principles provided by the case to the facts of the present scenario it can be stated that the representation made by GUCC in relation to the renewal of lease had not been documented and was mere vague encouragement as in the crown case. Therefore a reasonable person would use it as a reliance to get into the contract. Thus it can evidently be aid in this case that GUCC has the right to refuse the renewal of lease.
There was an additional term in the lease according to which if Baez was not able to complete the renovation work within three weeks and start the operation of the restaurant than he would be liable to leave the premises upon notice within twenty-one days. However as Baez did not receive proper material he was not able to finish renovation. Upon contact with GUCC’s secretary in relation to notifying about the delay Baez was informed that “I think that’ll be alright, but I’ll have to get instructions”. The circumstances are similar to that of the Legione case and similarly the representation cannot be used by Baez to cover up for the delay caused to the opening date.
However the notice of termination was never sent till four years of the lease was completed and GUCC continued to take benefits of such lease. They then asked Baez to leave the premises as they wanted to exercise the right to termination for the breach of clause 29.3 in relation to the opening day. Comparing the circumstances with sergeant case, it can be ruled that they GUCC cannot terminate the lease before time as they were already receiving benefits from Baez even after knowing the clause was breached.
Baez has no right to renew the lease with GUCC.
GUCC cannot terminate the lease before time
Austotel v Franklins Selfserve Pty Ltd (1989) 16 NSWLR 582
Crown Melbourne Limited v Cosmopolitan Hotel (VIC) Pty Ltd & Anor  HCA 26
Giumelli v Giumelli  196 CLR 101
Inwards v Baker (1965) 2 QB 29
Legione v Hateley  152 CLR 406
Sargent v ASL  HCA 40
Waltons Stores (Interstate) Ltd v Maher HCA 7
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