Landlord take note – there is significant benefit to creating a well drafted commercial lease.
While the Florida’s commercial Landlord and Tenant statute, Chapter 83 Part I, provides a general framework for enforcing the landlord’s remedies, many of the statutory rights and duties may be modified or waived between the parties in a well crafted lease. Additionally, in the commercial arena, case law also plays a large role in interpreting the commercial landlord and tenant relationship.
For example, the strict and specific laws about security deposits found in the Florida’s residential Landlord Tenant Statute, Part II does not apply to the commercial arena. Rather, security deposits are governed by whatever the parties agree to be bound to, as set forth in the lease between the parties, while the liquidated damage provisions are governed by case law.
In residential leases it is common for the Realtor and investor to gravitate towards a form lease promulgated by the Board of Realtors and Florida Supreme Court – “The FAR\BAR Lease” – which is very Tenant friendly leaving the landlord without important protections. (See more in our article on the subject – Landlord Friendly Leases )
However, when it comes to a commercial lease, landlords should instruct their Realtors to take advantage of the benefit that case law and waiver plays in the commercial arena and therefore, instruct their agents to engage a strong commercial attorney to draft a commercial lease and insist that a standard or generic commercial form not be used. A strong, detailed, sophisticated commercial lease needs to be tailored for the specific transaction and property to provide the necessary rights and remedies of the Landlord, and to be most protective of the Landlord and their investment.
It is important that the customized terms of the commercial lease be drafted clearly since any ambiguity in the lease is construed against the drafter. So make sure to engage an attorney familiar with commercial transactions.
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