One of the most common mistakes people make in Florida real estate transactions is assuming they can handle the legal and financial technicalities on their own. This is often based on the misconception that doing so will save time and money, however nothing could be further from the truth – especially when it comes to commercial lease agreements. Here’s why you should have a qualified South Florida attorney prepare one for you.
Commercial leases are not the same as residential leases
The single most important thing to understand from the beginning is that all leases are not created equal. Legally, there are significant differences between commercial and residential leases. Commercial leases in South Florida are generally:
- Subject to fewer consumer protection laws. Unlike residential leases, commercial leases are not necessarily subject to consumer protection laws that regulate security deposits or safeguard a tenant’s privacy.
- Based on customized forms/agreements. Customization benefits the landlord because it meets their needs, but a commercial lease may not suit the tenant’s needs and should be scrutinized accordingly.
- Long-term and binding. As such, they are not easily broken or amended because they are legally binding contracts.
- Subject to more negotiation. Negotiations are often lengthy because businesses frequently require tailored spaces and landlords often want reassurances about financial standing and the potential for long-term tenancy.
A properly prepared commercial lease agreement affords certain protections
An experienced Florida real estate lawyer can craft a lease agreement that affords certain protections based on the type of property you’re leasing and how the tenant(s) intend to use it. At Eskander Loshak LLP, we can easily determine if your commercial lease agreement should include specific stipulations/provisions pertaining to subleasing, indemnification, insurance, dispute resolution and more.
If you want to attract tenants by allowing them to improve or modify the property, we’ll make sure your commercial lease agreement includes the following provisions:
- Applicable restrictions
- The approval process for any improvements
- Designation of responsibility for maintenance and repairs to any part of the property that is improved or modified
- Stipulations for removal of any improvements at the end of the tenancy
- Designation of responsibility for any damages
The inclusion of additional provisions
In addition to the provisions/stipulations detailed above, we will also ensure that your commercial lease agreement includes important terms related to:
- Expenses: It is important to include provisions/stipulations regarding who pays for anticipated and unanticipated expenses – ranging from utilities to repairs not associated with improvements or additions. By including these terms, you will reduce the chances of becoming embroiled in an unpleasant and costly dispute.
- Remedies: It is also important to include clearly defined consequences in the event a tenant breaches a commercial lease by missing payments, making late payments, and so forth. Finally, provisions regarding responsibility for payment of attorney’s fees in the event of a breach or dispute over an alleged breach should be included.
The bottom line is that leasing commercial space is complicated. Even experienced landlords may face unpleasant and costly surprises if they take shortcuts or decide to try and draft a commercial lease agreement on their own.
At Eskander Loshak LLP, we have a well-earned reputation for helping clients avoid the pitfalls of complex residential and commercial real estate transactions. Don’t leave anything to chance, contact us online or call us at (954) 334-1122 to learn how we can help craft a commercial real estate lease agreement for your business today.