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Four Mistakes Commercial Landlords Must Avoid When Dealing With Tenants Who Owe Rent


If you have a tenant in a commercial space and they have fallen behind on their rent obligations, it could cause you or your business significant financial damage. Beyond that, it is also frustrating to deal with a commercial tenant who is still operating but is not paying. At this time, it is crucial that commercial landlords know steps to take to protect their rights and interests. In this article, our top-rated Miami landlord-tenant dispute lawyers highlight four major mistakes that commercial landlords frequently make when dealing with a tenant who is in default on their rent.

  1. Undertaking a Self-Help Eviction

In Florida, commercial landlords should avoid practicing self-help evictions. If your tenant has fallen far behind on their rent, it is time to seek professional legal help. Do not change the locks, do not suddenly shut off the utilities, and do not enter the premises to remove their belongings. To be clear: you have the right to evict a commercial tenant that has not held up their end of the lease agreement, but you need to make sure that you use the appropriate legal means to do so. 

  1. Failing to Provide Adequate Notice

Generally, landlords have a basic requirement to provide notice to their tenant before filing for eviction. You must follow all statutory notice requirements (state and local law) and you must follow any additional notice requirements that are set forth in the terms of your lease. With eviction, more notice is always better. You do not want to run into problems simply because you failed to provide adequate notice that you are seeking eviction. 

  1. Not Considering the Big Picture

Commercial landlords must always keep the big financial picture in mind. If your tenant is well behind on their rent, it may be time to pursue eviction. However, that is not always the best option. It is important to consider the costs of eviction — including how long it will likely take to get a new commercial tenant — versus the potential opportunity to work out a reasonable settlement for the overdue rent. In some cases, the threat of eviction can help to lead to a workable, mutually beneficial that will bring the tenant back into compliance with the lease. 

  1. Accepting a Partial Payment After Filing an Eviction Case

Once you filed an eviction case with a Florida court, you should be very careful when accepting any partial payment from the tenant. If you accept partial payment, it could damage your ability to pursue that eviction. The judge might throw it out. If you filed an eviction case, you should not accept partial payment for overdue rent without first consulting with an experienced attorney. Your lawyer can help you structure the payment in a way that best preserves your rights.

Get Help From a Miami Commercial Landlord Rights Attorney

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida landlord-tenant lawyers have deep experience representing commercial landlords. If you are dealing with a tenant who owes rent, we are here to help. To set up an immediate review of your case, please do not hesitate to call our legal team today. With law offices in West Palm Beach, Miami, and Palm Beach Gardens, we represent commercial landlords throughout Southeastern Florida.

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