Appeals, Nos. 51, 52, and 94, April T., 1958, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, Sept. T., 1952, No. 11, in case of Allen H. Emerman et ux. v. J. Robert Baldwin et al. Decree affirmed.
William W. Knox, for plaintiffs.
James P. Bryan, with him Clarence T. Bryan, Paul B. Joslin, and Bryan, Joslin and Bryan, for defendants.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ.
[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 564]
On March 15, 1952 one of the plaintiffs, Allen H. Emerman, visited defendants' offices to inquire about renting a house from defendants which they were then erecting. The defendants agreed to lease the property to the plaintiffs for a period of two years commencing on or about June 1, 1952 at a rental of $170.00 per month. One of the defendants at that time told the plaintiff: "All right, Allen. You have a deal. The place is yours." Plaintiff inquired about signing a lease and was told to wait until the house was ready for occupancy. The reason for the delay in the signing of the lease was that the parties did not know exactly when the construction of the house would be completed and therefore did not know the exact date upon which to commence the term of the lease. At plaintiff's request, the defendants gave to him the following written memorandum:
To: Mr. Allen Emerman and his wife,
I am writing this letter to you to let you know that the house which we are building on 4710 Sunnydale Blvd. will be ready for occupancy approximately, June 1, 1952.
[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 565]
We will rent this house to you as soon as it is ready for occupancy on or before June 1, 1952, for a period of two (2) years, at $170.00 per month, subject to the proper execution and delivery of our standard lease form. We shall not be held responsible for delay in construction caused by government regulations, strikes, or lockouts.
Very truly yours, BALDWIN BROTHERS, INC.
/s/ J. Robert Baldwin, J. Robert Baldwin, President"
The terms of defendants' standard lease form were well known to plaintiffs. The plaintiffs on various occasions offered to pay the first month's rent and execute a lease but each time were told by the defendants that they should wait until construction of the property was completed. On May 29, 1952 the plaintiffs sent a telegram from New York to the defendants advising that Mrs. Emerman would come to the defendants' office on June 4 or 5 to complete arrangements to move in. As of May 27, 1952, the defendants prepared a contract for the sale of the property to one Edward R. Clapper and wife at a price of $22,000.00 and delayed execution of the said contract until the third day of June, 1952, because of the outstanding agreement with the plaintiffs. On June 5, 1952 the defendants refused to accept rent from plaintiffs and also refused to execute a lease to them. On June 9, 1952 plaintiffs filed a bill in equity for specific performance and damages and sought a preliminary injunction. ...