Making the decision to rent commercial property as a business owner seeking a new physical space, as well as making the decision to lease out commercial real estate you own to a commercial tenant, requires a firm understanding of Florida landlord-tenant law. Both commercial and residential leases, including other aspects of landlord-tenant law, are governed by Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes. Commercial lease law can be extremely complicated, and it is critical to work with an experienced attorney who can draft and negotiate terms in the lease that are favorable to you, and can ensure that the commercial lease contains all necessary terms.
Terms in a Commercial Lease
In many ways, commercial leases are similar to residential leases in Florida in that they typically contain a number of different terms that are designed to protect both the commercial landlord and the commercial tenant. Terms that should be contained in most Florida commercial leases include the following:
- Length of the commercial lease;
- Information about renewing or expanding the commercial lease;
- Right of first refusal;
- Amount of the rent;
- Security deposit amount and information about when and how the security deposit can be returned;
- Details about the physical space being rented
- Information about rent increases, including what kinds of increases can occur and at what point in time;
- Whether rent costs include additional costs of running a business in a commercial space, such as maintenance expenses, property insurance, and property taxes;
- Responsibility for repairs on the premises;
- Details about changes or improvements to the commercial space during the term of your lease, including whether the landlord or tenant will pay for those changes and how the value of those changes or improvements will be assessed when the terms of the commercial lease ends;
- Commercial tenant’s ability to sublease the property to another commercial tenant;
- Termination of the lease, including information about the commercial landlord’s or commercial tenant’s notice requirements and penalties associated with the commercial tenant’s early lease termination; and
- Dispute resolution, such as arbitration or mediation clauses requiring alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the event of a landlord-tenant dispute.
How Commercial Leases Are Different from Residential Leases
While you might think that you can handle commercial lease negotiations and terms on your own since you have experience renting residential properties, it is important to know that commercial leases are quite different from residential leases in a number of ways. The following are examples of some of the distinctive features of commercial leases:
- Commercial leases tend to be long-term contracts that are difficult to break (often lasting for multiple years with complex and costly early termination requirements);
- Commercial leases are not created using boilerplate forms as many residential leases are, which means that there is no specific standardization for commercial leases (instead, commercial leases are drafted to reflect the needs; and
- Commercial leases tend to be negotiable.
Contact a Commercial Leases Lawyer
If you have questions about commercial leases, or you need assistance with drafting or reviewing a commercial lease, our commercial lease lawyers can help. Contact Gilbert Garcia Group, P.A. today.