If you are a landlord of a commercial property in Florida, it is important to understand landlord/tenant laws. Making a misstep could cost you a lot of money and time.
One of the most important aspects of your landlord/tenant relationship is creating a solid lease. Many times the issues that come about in commercial real estate are related to lease disputes. To avoid these, you have to be sure you write a comprehensive lease that spells everything out. However, you also have to make sure it follows the law.
The Lake County government states your commercial real estate lease should be in writing because oral agreements can be difficult to maintain and enforce.
When it comes to the length of the lease, you must state specifically how long the lease will last or state law dictates it is the period of the rent. For example, if your tenant pays rent every month, then the lease would be considered valid for one month only, if you do not state a length. If you will require deposits, these need to be outlined in the lease. You must inform the tenant if a deposit is not refundable.
The lease should also outline your responsibilities to the tenant. This could include that you will be responsible for fixing issues with the HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems. You should also consider outlining what your tenant’s responsibilities are so there is no confusion. You may want to make it clear in the lease if the tenant is responsible for things like mowing, repairing flooring or handling certain repairs. You should also state whether renter’s insurance is required.
You should also know you are responsible for keeping the premises free of bugs or rodents, providing proper areas for trash removal, keeping locks in working order and ensuring heat and hot water are available in the winter months. You cannot force these responsibilities on the tenant because they are what are required of you under the law.