FLORIDA COMMERCIAL LEASE LITIGATION
A large part of our practice concerns enforcement of the rights and duties of the landlord, the tenant, and, if applicable, the personal or corporate guarantor under a commercial real estate lease. We generally classify these types of disputes as (1) pre-possession disputes, (2) performance disputes, and (3) termination disputes.
- Pre-Possession Disputes. In this area, issues can arise as to interpretation of the scope and nature of the build-out that is contractually required to be delivered to the tenant, delays in construction of the tenant’s build-out, construction defects related to the initial tenant build-out and the respective liabilities of the landlord, tenant, contractor, architect, and other design and construction professionals involved in the project, inability to obtain approval for issuance of permits or occupational licenses resulting from zoning conflicts or land-use discrepancies, and other pre-possession matters.
- Performance Disputes. During the term of the lease, issues can arise as to non-payment of rent under the lease, non-payment of common area maintenance (“CAM”) payments, calculation of the amount of CAM properly chargeable under the lease, responsibility for repairs, including responsibility for making repairs required under the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA” cases), interpretation of various lease provisions, interpretation and calculation of rent increases, interpretation of use clauses as well as enforcement of exclusive use provisions, maintenance of common areas, liability for personal injuries resulting from slip-and-fall cases in and around the demised premises and the common areas, disputes resulting from interpretation of signage and parking clauses in the lease, disputes relating to the maintenance of adequate insurance under the lease, discharge of hazardous waste by medical tenants, restaurants, and manufacturing and industrial tenants, and various other matters.
- Termination Disputes. Disputes that arise at or near the termination of the lease concern the exercise of option clauses in the agreement, the interpretation of such clauses and the calculation of rent during the option terms, damages to the demised premises during the term of the lease that the tenant is responsible to pay for, damages caused to the premises while the tenant is vacating the leased premises, claims against the security deposit, litigation for unpaid rent where the landlord has accelerated future rent upon the tenant’s default, litigation against the guarantor for unpaid and/or accelerated rent, issues relating to re-letting the premises after a tenant default, depositing rent into the court registry while an eviction is pending, hazardous waste caused during the tenant’s possession of the leased premises, and many other types of disputes.