Anyone interested in starting a business in Florida will likely need commercial space to run the activities of the company. It is not uncommon to see people experiencing a hard time when trying to understand all clauses and terms involved within a commercial lease.
Undoubtedly, both residential and commercial leases share similarities. However, each document has its share of peculiarities, requiring a different approach for each specific case.
When drafting and reviewing a commercial lease, you need to understand the differences between residential and nonresidential agreements. This way, it is possible to ensure that your lease provides you all the necessary protection.
In this article, we will provide you some tools on how to review a commercial lease agreement precisely.
Commercial Lease vs Residential Lease- How To Differentiate Both Concepts in Florida
Despite the existing similarities, there are some core distinctions between commercial and residential leases. In the following topics, we showcase the essential distinctions that everyone interested in getting a commercial lease agreement in Florida must know.
1.- Commercial Lease Agreements Have Fewer Legal Protections in Florida
Residential lease agreements and commercial lease agreements do not share the same protection under consumer protection laws.
Typically, when someone enters into a residential lease agreement, there is a variety of consumer protection laws available to protect their interests. Such measures can help to prevent a landlord to start engaging in specific actions or behaviors concerning a tenant or the property.
However, Florida nonresidential lease agreements are not exposed to the same level of consumer protection as enjoyed by residential agreements, similar to other states across the country.
2.- Commercial Lease Agreements in Florida Lack Standardization
Most commercial lease agreements do not have standard forms. On the other hand, most residential lease agreements use standard forms, which facilitates the process of understanding for tenants. This happens due to the varying needs that different business tenants and commercial real estate owners may experience.
Hence, before drafting, negotiating, and signing a commercial lease agreement in Florida, we recommend that you seek professional guidance from a business attorney.
This approach may be necessary because you need to understand every term in the lease, including how each one will apply to your case.
3.- Commercial Lease Agreements in Florida Require Negotiation
Commonly, most residential lease agreements do not involve much negotiation between the landlord and the tenant. The case with commercial lease agreements is the complete opposite.
Any process involving commercial lease agreements will require some amount of negotiation of terms. Important factors that are approached in this phase include the amount of rent, specificities regarding possible rent increases, the length of the lease term, and other points.
4.- Commercial Lease Agreements in Florida Tend to Last Longer
In most cases, a typical residential lease for an apartment or home in Florida lasts one year. On the other hand, commercial leases tend to last for more than one year. Often commercial leases have a length of several years.
5.- Commercial Lease Agreements in Florida Have a Different Binding Nature
Most commercial leases have a more binding nature. For instance, it is common to see a residential tenant including a clause in a lease allowing them to terminate with a particular amount of notice (typically around 60 days).
Nonetheless, any tenant who chooses to terminate a commercial lease early may have to bear heavy financial liabilities.
How to Review a Commercial Lease Agreement in Florida- Start With a Checklist
First, you need to check what type of terms you want to be included in the commercial lease contract. For that, we recommend you prepare a detailed checklist while the phase of negotiation is still happening.
The terms included in commercial leases vary accordingly to the needs of the landlord and the tenant. Hence, you need to make sure that these terms will fulfill your needs properly.
A solid checklist for a commercial lease agreement in Florida must include topics such as:
- Term of the lease.
- Renewal options for the contract.
- Amount of rent.
- Potential rent increases, including when and how this amount will be calculated.
- Permitted modifications.
- The detailed policy for hanging signs.
- Amount of the security deposit (including how and when it will be returned).
- Accessibility issues.
- How potential disputes will be settled (mediation, arbitration, etc.)
- Option to renew the lease.
- Requirements involved in the termination of the lease (notice requirements, penalties, etc.)
This list is not exhaustive, so we recommend you seek professional guidance from a business attorney to help you review and make sure each detail is placed right in the contract.
We Can Help You to Review Your Commercial Lease Agreement in Florida
You do not need to face uncertainty when reviewing a commercial lease agreement in Florida. An experienced Florida business attorney from Jurado & Farshchian, P.L. will help you today. Call (305) 921-0440 or email Romy@jflawfirm.com to schedule an initial consultation.