A Florida real estate lease is a contract for the use of real property. Like all contracts, leases contain promises made by each side to the other. If a lease promise is broken, that is called a breach.
Florida and Federal law govern leases in many ways. Florida has statutory law dealing with residential and commercial property and it has a fair housing act which we also see under Federal law. The Florida residential tenancy act is complex and protects both sides in ways that are often not addressed in a lease.
Whether you are a landlord or tenant, VolkLaw can help you with effective lease drafting and negotiations. The risks inherent in a commercial lease are immense. Financial ruin can follow in the wake of the breach of a lease. Like all contracts, you have to make your deal going in. Especially with commercial leases, signing without reading it or understanding it is madness. A lot of things can go wrong beyond the issue of rent. You need to know if the rent is the only financial obligation. The lease can make the tenant liable for a share of real property taxes and common area expenses. Wouldn’t that be a bad surprise if you are the tenant, agreed to that by signing the lease, but not knowing until the bill comes due that you have to pay money in addition to the rent.
Some other issues: what happens if the property catches on fire? What happens if the government takes part or all of the property through eminent domain which is a compensated for taking of property for a public purpose like a road project? Are you limited in how you can use the property? What happens if the tenant does not move out at the end of the lease? How much is owed if the tenant quits paying rent? What improvements made by a tenant to premises can be removed by the tenant? What happens if the air conditioner quits working? The list goes on and on. Commercial leases go on and on. A fifty page commercial property lease is not unheard of.
The most common type of dispute over rented real estate has to do with rent. If you are the landlord and you are renting the property, collection of the rent or removal of the tenant to install a paying tenant is often very time sensitive. VolkLaw has expertise in the eviction of tenants and how to deal with the curveball of a bankruptcy filing by the tenant. This process is complicated and easy to make mistakes with. The law provides protection against bad behavior by landlords. For instance, you cannot just remove the door from a house you rent to someone if they don’t pay the rent. You need to jump through the hoops of a court eviction. Done right, you can quickly evict. In Florida, if the residential lease expires and the tenant moves out, you have to do certain things a certain way to keep a damages deposit.
The fair housing laws mentioned above are designed to prevent certain kinds of discrimination. If accused of discrimination, you need someone to help you understand your rights. Having VolkLaw as your real estate general counsel makes us available to you to advise you on issues like this as they arise.
The matters discussed here are general in nature and are not to be relied upon as legal advice. Every specific legal matter requires specific legal attention. The law is constantly changing and matters discussed today may not be the same tomorrow. Legal matters are also subject to different interpretations by attorneys, judges, jurors and scholars. No attorney-client relationship is intended or created as a result of matters discussed here. You should consult counsel of your choice if you have any dealings in these areas of the law. Volk Law Offices, P.A. and its attorneys make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the matters addressed.