Post-hurricane assessment issues

“Hurricane Irma in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.” by Satoshi Kina. Purchased from Fotolia under standard license.

Commercial leases are different than residential agreements. Boyer Law Firm, P.L. handles the leasing, purchases, sales, and disputes that come with commercial real estate transactions.

For Tenants

When drafting a commercial lease, it’s important to stipulate who is responsible for damage due to natural disasters. After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, businesses in southeastern U.S. are reviewing their lease agreements, and some are realizing they don’t have as much protection as they thought.  Dealing with your landlords’ insurance companies and their legal team is an added stress after a big storm, so make sure you understand what rights your lease agreements grant you.

  1. Will the landlord be responsible for extracting the water if the business floods?
  2. Will the tenant still have to pay full rent if there is partial damage to the property?
  3. Under what conditions does the landlord have the right to terminate the lease due to storm damage?
  4. Flood insurance – should the owner and tenant split the cost? Does the property need it?

For Landlords

This can also be a stressful time for landlords, especially those dealing with several damaged properties. “Rebuilding after a hurricane presents dilemmas for owners of standard homeowner policies,” said Leslie Scism and Nicole Friedman in The Wall Street Journal. “Labor and materials costs can spike as many people seek contractors and supplies at the same time.”

Unless stipulated otherwise in the lease, the landlord is legally required to make certain repairs.

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