Law Offices of Frese, Whitehead & Anderson P.A.

Local: 321.473.3295

Toll free: 866.510.7362

We can tailor a solution to meet your needs. Find out how.

When can a business owner break a commercial lease?

If you're leasing a space in a commercial property, like an office building or shopping center, both you and your landlord are typically required to adhere to the terms of the lease. So, are there any circumstances in which you can leave the space before your lease is up?

Generally, either party can get out of a lease if the other one breaches a "substantive" provision. For example, if a hurricane tore off part of your roof or a tree slammed through the window, and your landlord didn't get it fixed, you may be able to get out of your lease and move to another space.

If you walk away due to a less egregious reason, your landlord may sue you for breach of contract. Therefore, it's wise to consult with your attorney if you believe your landlord has violated the lease and that you're no longer bound by it.

If your business isn't doing well and you're considering moving to another better location, review your contract carefully to determine whether you have a "bailout" clause. Is there a provision that says that if your sales or profits don't get to a particular point, you can get out of the lease without financial or legal penalties?

Some stores and other businesses have a clause in their lease that if a key anchor tenant moves out, you can leave before your lease is up. If you own a small boutique in a large outdoor shopping center where the major store is Dillard's and it moves out, you may be able to walk away from your lease.

If the space you're in is in high demand and your landlord knows they can easily lease it (possibly for a higher rate), they may be willing to negotiate an exit with you. Other possible options are to sublease the space or to offer your landlord a lump-sum payment to let you go.

Whatever option(s) you're considering, it's best to let an experienced attorney review your lease and discuss these and other options for getting out of it and the potential consequences of each.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
AV LexisNexis Martindale Hubbell Peer review Rated for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability Super Lawyers The Florida Bar Board Certified Real Estate The Florida Bar Board Certified Taxi Law The Florida Bar Board Certified Wills, Trusts and Estates The Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Florida Trend The Issues, People and Ideas that Define Florida Business