It is impossible to ensure a smooth livelihood between a commercial landlord and a tenant if both parties cannot communicate properly. The first step is proper negotiation to determine the terms and conditions to be included in the lease agreement.
In this article, you will discover whether a landlord can lock out a commercial tenant in Florida.
Commercial Lease Agreement vs. Eviction – An Introduction
In Florida, the lease agreement is the foundation of a commercial lease. This document must be drafted with utmost attention, as vague language or missing terms may negatively affect the contractual relationship between the landlord and the tenant.
Evicting a commercial tenant requires a reasonable motivation to justify the action. Hence, if the tenant did not fail to meet the terms and conditions established by the commercial lease contract, it is not possible to proceed with an eviction.
Conversely, if the tenant fails to fulfill the contractual duties and obligations outlined in the commercial lease agreement, the landlord may start the eviction process.
Common examples of actions that may justify a commercial tenant’s eviction include failure to pay the amount of rent due, misuse of the leased premises, and damage done to the property.
Can a Landlord Lock Out a Commercial Tenant in Florida? – In Detail
Florida law requires commercial landlords to provide tenants with notice in advance of the eviction proceedings. The statutory deadline to notify a commercial tenant is three business days.
Please note that this specific deadline applies to cases associated with the nonpayment of rent. Evictions based on reasons not related to rent require a 15-day notice before the eviction procedures commence.
If the commercial tenant does not pay the owed amount or take any action to correct the existing gap, the landlord can file an unlawful detainer complaint against the tenant. Upon receipt of the complaint, the tenant has five days to counterclaim against the landlord’s complaints.
The next step is proceeding with litigation in court. If the landlord succeeds and obtains a judgment against the tenant, the defendant has five days to vacate the leased premises.
If the tenant does not leave the premises, the local sheriff can enforce the judgment by putting locks on the doors to keep the defaulting party out of the property. In such cases, the landlord may serve the tenant with a notice of “belief of abandonment.”
This notice explicitly affirms that the landlord may sell or dispose of the tenant’s property left within the commercial premises if the owner fails to claim it within the statutory deadline.
Evicting a Commercial Tenant in Florida – Does it Require an Attorney?
Whether you are the landlord or tenant in a commercial lease agreement, you must know the steps involved in a commercial eviction to guarantee full legal compliance. Compared to residential leases, commercial leases tend to be highly technical and complex.
The deadlines for taking legal action are shorter, which requires accuracy in each step involved in the process. The best approach to avoid mistakes and guarantee both parties will abide by the terms of the contract is working with an expert lease attorney.