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Caruso v. Young

Court of Appeals of Texas, Sixth District, Texarkana

May 10, 2019

NATHAN CARUSO AND JENNIFER DONNER, Appellants
v.
NATHANIEL YOUNG, Appellee

          Date Submitted: April 29, 2019

          On Appeal from the 200th District Court Travis County, Texas Trial Court No. D-1-GN-15-000993

          Before Morriss, C.J., Burgess and Stevens, JJ.

          OPINION

          Scott E. Stevens Justice

         Nathan Caruso and Jennifer Donner appeal the trial court's entry of summary judgment declaring void an option to purchase property within a lease agreement because it violated the rule against perpetuities. We affirm.

         I. Factual Background

         Nathaniel Young owned property "known locally as 3901 Bandice Lane" in Pflugerville, Texas (the Property).[1] In 2009, Young, as Lessor, signed a "Lease With Option to Purchase" the Property drafted by Caruso and Donner (the Lease). The Lease stated:

3. Term of Lease. The term of this lease shall consist of one-year leases commencing on April 19, 2009 [sic] and ending on April 18, 2010. Each lease term is automatically renewable unless Lessee gives written notice to Lessor to terminate or if Lessee is more than thirty (30) days in arrears on rent payments (the lease would not be renewable and Lessee would be required to vacate[)]. Such written notice must be given at least thirty (30) days before the expiration of any of the one year terms.
This provision shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the heirs, legal representatives, successors and assigns of the parties thereto, and this covenant shall be construed, as a covenant running with the land and with the leasehold.
. . . .
19. Option to Purchase. The Lessor hereby grants to the Lessee the option to purchase the leased property at any time during the term of this lease for the consideration and upon the terms and conditions hereinafter set forth. As long as Lessee is not in arrears by more than one month, and is not in violation of performance of the terms of this lease, Lessee shall have the option to purchase the real property described herein.
. . . .
The price to be paid by the Lessee to the Lessor for the leased property if the option is exercised shall be the balance of loan ...

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