If you own commercial property in the Sunshine State, leasing it out to business tenants can be lucrative. However, when a tenant refuses to pay rent or vacate the space, what initially seemed like a fantastic investment can become a significant source of stress. Fortunately, Florida law protects commercial landlords who find themselves in this frustrating position. Here's what you need to know.
Florida's Commercial and Residential Rental Laws Differ Significantly
In agreements between residential landlords and tenants, state law assumes that landlords hold the lion's share of the leverage and, as a result, the law includes added protections for tenants. That isn't the case for commercial landlord-tenant agreements since the law presumes the commercial landlord and tenant are on equal footing and more than capable of negotiating the terms of the lease. This is good news for commercial landlords, as it means the process for evicting a tenant is much less involved, since the tenant's rights largely depend on what's outlined in the rental agreement.
Commercial Landlords Generally Can't Recover Legal Fees
Unlike in residential evictions, where attorneys fees are provided by law, commercial landlords can only recover damages—unless attorneys fees are specifically written into the commercial lease agreement. This is one of the many reasons why it's so important that lease agreements be extremely detailed.
Landlord-Tenant Communications After Default Can Modify the Terms of a Lease
Trying to work things out with a tenant who's fallen behind in rent can be dangerous if not done in writing. For example, if a commercial landlord allows a tenant to pay their rent late for several months in a row, it may alter the terms of the lease so that future payments are due on the later date, rather than the date specified in the rental agreement.
Consult an Experienced Attorney About Your Contract Law Dispute
Commercial landlords have multiple options when a tenant won't pay or vacate and, at Good Life Legal Services, we're dedicated to helping you find the solution that's right for you. Interested in learning more? Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary consultation.