Can you write your own commercial lease agreement?

Creating a commercial lease agreement is a critical step for any landlord or business owner in Florida. This document dictates the terms under which a business will rent commercial space, impacting financial and operational aspects for both landlord and tenant.

Given the stakes, it’s common for property owners to consider whether they can draft this document themselves. While it is legally possible to write your own commercial lease agreement in Florida, doing so involves careful consideration of legal, business, and practical factors. This blog explores these considerations and offers advice on how to proceed.

Understanding the Basics of a Commercial Lease Agreement

A commercial lease agreement in Florida must outline specific details to ensure it is legally binding and enforceable. These include the identities of the landlord and tenant, a detailed description of the property, the term of the lease, rental amounts and payment procedures, and any other terms regarding the use and maintenance of the property. Because commercial leases typically involve more complex negotiations and terms than residential leases, it’s crucial to cover all legal bases.

Legal Requirements for Commercial Lease Agreements in Florida

Florida law imposes certain requirements and standards on commercial leases to protect both parties:

  • Written Format: Leases, especially those lasting more than a year, need to be in writing to be enforceable.
  • Signatures: Both parties must sign the agreement, acknowledging their consent to its terms and each signature must be witnessed.
  • Clarity and Completeness: The lease should clearly state all terms to prevent disputes over ambiguous language.

Risks of DIY Commercial Lease Agreements

1. Non-Compliance with Laws

Commercial lease laws are complex and can vary widely, including federal, state, and local regulations. DIY leases often fail to comply with all applicable laws, potentially resulting in unenforceable clauses or legal penalties.

2. Overlooking Essential Clauses

Without thorough legal knowledge, you might omit crucial clauses such as escalation, renewal options, or termination rights, which could severely impact your business operations or financial security. Florida insurance provisions are also key and go a long way to allocating the risk of loss to the lessor or the lessee.

3. Vague Terms Leading to Disputes

Vague or improperly defined lease terms can lead to disputes with retail tenants, which might require costly and time-consuming legal resolutions. Clarity is crucial in lease agreements to ensure both parties understand their rights and obligations. Percentage rent clauses and Common Area Maintenance charge clauses are often litigated.

Benefits of Professional Legal Assistance 

Given the complexities and risks associated with drafting a commercial lease, enlisting professional legal help offers several advantages:

1. Expert Guidance

A lawyer specializing in real estate or commercial law can provide valuable insights and guidance, ensuring that the lease meets all legal requirements and protects your interests.

2. Customization

Every commercial property and business is unique. A lawyer can help tailor your lease agreement to fit specific needs and circumstances, addressing issues like property improvements, subleasing, and maintenance responsibilities.

3. Negotiation Support

A legal professional can represent you during negotiations, helping to secure terms that are favorable yet fair, and potentially preventing future conflicts.

4. Peace of Mind

Having a professionally drafted lease agreement offers peace of mind, knowing that your investment is secure and that you are less likely to face legal issues down the road.

Contact Eko Law today to work with our business attorney in Clearwater.

While you can legally write your own commercial lease agreement in Florida, the risks often outweigh the benefits. For most landlords and business owners, the expertise of a qualified attorney is invaluable in this process.

At Eko Law, we specialize in crafting comprehensive and customized lease agreements that safeguard your interests and foster positive landlord-tenant relationships. Whether you are leasing out a commercial property for the first time or looking to revise an existing agreement, our team can ensure your lease serves as a solid foundation for your business.

Contact Eko Law today to schedule your free phone consultation.