A lease is a legally binding contract, which means that it is virtually impossible to break it without facing the consequences. The situation can be even more complex when the contract involves a specific lease term over a commercial property.
However, suppose you need to know how to get out of a commercial lease in Florida. In that case, some solutions will be explored in the following topics.
Commercial Lease in Florida
A commercial lease agreement is a contract between a landlord and a business to rent a property for commercial purposes (e.g., office buildings, etc.). Within the terms and provisions in the contract, business owners need to agree to a specific lease term.
Hence, if things do not happen as expected and the owners need to get out the lease, the process is not as simple as returning the keys to the landlord and closing the doors after leaving the property.
Such situations require a strategic approach, which means it is crucial to seek guidance from an expert business attorney before deciding.
Getting Out of a Commercial Lease in Florida – Feasible Solutions
Pay Attention to the Agreement – Early Termination Clauses
First, it is fundamental to pay attention to the lease agreement before and after signing the document. This is because a lease agreement may contain an early termination clause or break clause in some cases.
Generally, early exit clauses are not standard in commercial leases. Still, it is possible to negotiate their inclusion into the contract before signing a commercial lease agreement.
It is crucial to pay attention to the language used in the early termination clause, as it needs to be very specific. The more detailed and more precise it is, the better. For example, an ideal termination clause would be written such as:
“The tenant may terminate early only after the first year of the lease.”
There may be some expenses associated with the inclusion of an early termination clause in a commercial lease contract. Typically, tenants that get out of a lease early need to pay the landlord’s costs associated with the premature ending of the contract, including legal expenses.
Communication is Crucial – Surrendering the Lease with the Landlord
A good option for getting out early of a commercial lease is to communicate with the landlord and ask him/her to surrender the lease. In this process, both the tenant and the landlord agree to end the lease.
While the landlord has no legal obligation to agree to the surrender, it is still worth solving things as seamlessly as possible. Plus, it may not be for free, as a landlord can ask for a surrender fee as compensation for the early breaking of the lease contract.
Suppose the landlord agrees to surrender the commercial lease. In that case, it is ideal for documenting the decision in a deed of surrender.
Tenants who have a lease registered in the title of land should also register the proper surrender of lease form, which will remove the lease from the title of the land certificate.
Surrender of lease brings an end to the tenant’s legal obligations, even though it may require him/her to pay the landlord’s legal costs.
Finding a New Tenant to Assign the Lease
Another feasible option is assigning the lease by transferring the rights and obligations under the contract to a new tenant. Nonetheless, such a process will need the consent of the landlord.
Plus, the lease agreement needs to provide what requirements need to be satisfied before the landlord agrees to assign the lease to a replacing tenant.
Once the landlord gives his/her consent to the lease assignment, the tenant must document the process in a deed of assignment. In most situations, the tenant will have to pay the landlord’s legal costs for accepting the commercial lease assignment.
However, this approach requires attention to detail. In addition, if the new tenant breaches the lease, the landlord may make legal claims against the tenant who left early.
Many people tend to confuse surrendering a lease with assigning a lease to a new tenant. Under an assignment, the lease continues but the tenant changes. In contrast, in a lease surrender, both parties involved are fully released from their obligations under the contract.
Minimize Financial Liability When Getting Out of a Commercial Lease in Florida
Leaving a commercial lease in Florida is not as easy as simply returning the keys and leaving the property without legal justification. However, Attorney Romy B. Jurado Esq. is an expert attorney that can help you find a feasible solution for your case.