Whether it is your first time signing a commercial lease or your hundredth, entering such an impactful contract requires dedication and careful consideration. It is absolutely essential to make sure that every i is dotted and every t is crossed. The last thing you would want is to find out you can’t enforce the lease when you need to.
At BrewerLong, we know what it takes to create a valid Florida commercial lease. We can provide straightforward and practical guidance regarding commercial leases from the beginning of negotiations to the end of the lease and beyond. Our experienced attorneys are known for delivering an outstanding customer experience and developing long-lasting relationships with our clients. Contact BrewerLong today and schedule your consultation.
What Makes a Commercial Lease Valid in Florida
There is a big difference between commercial leases and other leases in Florida. Residential leases must meet specific standards designed to protect both landlords and tenants. Parties entering into commercial leases have much more leeway.
Florida commercial lease requirements are mostly the same as any other commercial contract in Florida. Commercial agreements are governed by the Florida Uniform Commercial Code: Negotiable Instruments and other legal standards of contract law.
A few general standards must be met to make a commercial lease valid under Florida law. First, there must be an offer and acceptance of that offer. Second, there must be something of value exchanged. Finally, both parties must mutually assent to the terms of the contract. This is usually done by signing a written contract, but sometimes an oral agreement or a handshake is enough.
Some circumstances make a contract invalid in Florida. For example, every party to the contract must be competent. In most cases, children, the mentally ill, and intoxicated individuals cannot assent to a contract. Another example is that contracts can not pertain to illegal activities.
Commercial leases must also include specific terms out of practicality. These terms include:
- The names of the parties,
- A description of the property,
- The length of the lease,
- The rent arrangement, and
- Acknowledgment of acceptance by all the parties.
Further, any lease over one year in duration must be in writing and signed by the parties. There is currently no witness requirement for commercial leases in Florida, and a notary is not necessary.
Making a Commercial Lease Work For You
There are vital considerations every lease should capture that go beyond simply creating a valid Florida commercial lease. A well-written lease will capture the intent of each party in intricate detail. To head off potential issues before they come up, every commercial lease should contemplate several matters.
In-Depth Description of the Parties
Though simply identifying the parties is enough, it is often best to give a detailed description of who the parties are. This will help ensure clarity if the courts must get involved.
A Detailed Description of the Property
A detailed property description will help ensure both parties fully understand and accept the deal they are entering into. Without a detailed description, future conflicts can arise over the state of the property, the location of the property, or other issues regarding the property. Pictures and survey maps can be included in the contract.
The Intended Use of the Property
The lease should detail the tenant’s intended use of the property. It should also include any applicable limits on the tenant’s use of the property.
The lease should delineate who is responsible for any maintenance that might be required. Arguments over maintenance and who is responsible can severely impact the relationship between the lessee and the lessor. These conflicts can also lead to significant unexpected costs for either party.
Many commercial spaces must be improved for the intended use of the lease. If improvements must be made, the lease should clearly state who is responsible for them.
The lease should state who is responsible for paying for utilities.
Parking is a critical issue for many commercial tenants. This is especially true if parking space is shared with neighboring tenants. The parking rules should be discussed beforehand and clearly stated in the lease.
If the landlord requires a security deposit, all the rules and procedures governing the payment and return of the deposit should be outlined in the lease agreement.
Terms for Breaking the Lease
Though optional, providing a clear statement of the consequences of breaking the lease is often helpful. These consequences should not be punitive but accurately reflect the losses the aggrieved party will experience if the other party breaks the lease.
Anything Else That Might Be at Issue
Ultimately, any commercial lease should be the best possible reflection of the entire agreement between the parties. The lease agreement should contemplate any predictable issue that might spring up during the lease.
BrewerLong Can Help
If you need help negotiating or enforcing a lease agreement, BrewerLong knows how to help. With years of experience assisting businesses with their legal needs, our attorneys know what to look for in commercial leases. We give every client the personal attention they deserve and provide meaningful guidance where needed most. Contact BrewerLong today.
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