When is an option not an option?
When the terms are too vague for the court to enforce.
Take the tragic tale of Etco Corporation vs. Hauer. The two entered into a lease with a five-year option to renew at the original terms--except for the rent.
When the original term of the lease expired, the tenant notified the landlord that he wanted to renew the lease for the additional five-year period. The lease said that the rent for the extended period would be determined by mutual agreement.
You guessed it.
They could not agree.
The landlord wanted $2,500 to $3,000 a month. The tenant was willing to pay only $1,100 per month.
The judge ruled that the parties had created their own problem by not establishing a standard by which rent could be determined. The renewal option couldn't be enforced by the courts.