business closed, commercial lease, renegotiate commercial lease

Avoiding Lease Issues During the Coronavirus

As we all see on the news every day, the Coronavirus epidemic is rapidly spreading. This virus not only impacts our health, but our wealth, as well. Recently, the American president has severely restricted travel to the United States from Europe. In today’s spotlight series, we’ll explore some tactics businesses and landlords can use to help lessen the severity this pandemic will have on bottom lines.

Travel and Gathering Restrictions Hurting Local Economies

This quarantine decision is not without consequences for the United States. Florida, for example, depends on tourism for a considerable portion of her annual revenue and many of these tourists are from European countries. Each year, the Sunshine State attracts millions of tourists to enjoy the amusement parks; miles of sandy beaches and turquoise sea; shops that Florida has to offer. 

According to the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida’s tourism industry brings in over $6 billion in state taxes. In 2017, in the state of Florida alone, tourists (all nationalities combined) spent more than $88.6 billion, including $24.3 billion on hotels or lodging; $20.2 billion in food and restaurants; $15 billion in shopping; $18 billion in transportation and $11.2 billion in attractions and other entertainment activities. 

Bottom line, tourism is huge in the Sunshine State:

  • Tourism is the state’s 4th largest employer in the private sector 
  • As an industry, Florida Tourism employs more than 1.5 million Floridians

This 30-day travel ban could prove to be a real financial disaster for all sectors of tourism, especially since we are at the start of the spring break season.

The first victims will be restaurants, hotels, and shops. Fear spreads faster than the virus. Fear affects all sectors of the economy – airlines are desperately marketing reassuring messages. Restaurants only offer delivery service. Hotels slash prices, but nothing really stems the tide. In a globally connected economy, world markets are simultaneously contaminated by this drastic market slowdown. Restaurants, shopping centers, gathering places, tourist places, and even places of worship are deserted, generating significant deficits, especially in places like  Chinatown, New York. All major tourist destinations are affected. So, what advice can an expert legal team like Boyer Law Firm provide?

Renegotiating a Commercial Lease

While washing hands regularly is essential, it’s not the only solution to survive the epidemic. The first thing to do to prevent a financial meltdown is to renegotiate your commercial lease with your landlord. Through this unprecedented health crisis landlords should reduce interest rates, and consider waiving fees or even permitting delayed payments. 

Renegotiating the lease benefits the owners as much as the tenants to find an agreement on the payment of the rents for the period of slowdown. This keeps the property rented and at least some cash flow coming in until business can resume normally. Inflexible owners will only create more empty commercial spaces which, if left unchecked, can blight whole cities. Business owners should, though, seek to follow the terms of their lease rather than compromise their credit or risk expulsion. Negotiating with your landlord can be difficult and conversely renegotiating a contract may be outside the realm of many landlord’s expertise. That’s where the experience of a Florida business attorney can be a true benefit to all parties involved.

Trusted Florida Landlord Tenant Attorneys

A legal firm experienced in business law and specifically Florida Landlord Tenant Law like Boyer Law Firm can help businesses and property owners come to agreeable terms on matters of contention for the duration of this present crisis. Our business law team stands ready to help walk you through all your options with regards to the commercial lease and to help chart a path forward.

Contact our team now to renegotiate your commercial lease as best as possible today.

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