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Understand your lease in a real estate dispute

Not all real estate disputes originate from a purchase agreement gone bad. In fact, probably the most common disputes arise due to disagreements over a rental agreement, commonly referred to in real estate law as a "lease."

Of course, the more common residential landlord-tenant issues are usually addressed in small claims courts. It is the commercial real estate disputes involving corporations and the entities they rent from that can lead to large-scale courtroom litigation. In these types of situations, it can be helpful for South Florida companies to first and foremost understand the type of lease they are a party to.

Does your company pay one flat rental fee each month that never changes? If so, your company is likely a party to what is known as a fixed lease. What about companies that pay a monthly amount for rent, but that are also responsible for some of the utilities, like heat or electricity? Chances are that companies in that type of arrangement are party to what is referred to as a gross lease.

Of course, like any contract, leases can vary quite a bit, depending on the needs and desires of the parties involved. But, in general, the property owner will want to limit the risk of losing out on rent, so many leases will have clauses that address what happens if the renter breaches the agreement and leaves the property. Litigation centered on a dispute over a real estate contract can be complex, so corporate entities in South Florida will want to make sure that they are well-informed about their rights and options in that type of scenario.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Leases," Accessed Dec. 4, 2015

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