As a commercial landlord, you may eventually be forced to deal with your tenants’ failing to pay rent. Should that happen, you do have a means of recourse. Obviously you can begin an eviction process. Yet, what about all of the missed rent payments? Do you, a commercial lessor, have to consider that a loss and just deal with it? No, usually you don’t.
You can actually get a lien put against the property they own inside your commercial building. A Florida statute (F.S. § 83.08) gives commercial landlords a statutory remedy of a lien against actual property on the leased premises. So, this is something that is afforded as a right of landlords (without having to get judicial action) that was created by the statute.
Landlords almost always have an automatic right to get a lien on property that tenants own. That doesn’t mean they can automatically walk in and take the property though. There’s a process for the actual property seizure. In order to enforce the lien, landlords file a “distress for rent” complaint. That will start the proceedings to actually seize the tenant’s property to cover the cost of missed rent.
So, a landlord’s statutory lien remedy can be used on property that belongs to the commercial tenant. It’s only allowed to be used during the period of time written in the commercial lease agreement. The right to use the statutory lien remedy is over when the lease is over. Lastly, in order to use Florida’s statutory lien remedy for rent that is owed to the landlord, the landlord must actually bring a statutory distress for rent proceeding.
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RE/MAX Keys Connection’s owner and broker Curtis Skomp is one of South Florida’s top commercial real estate brokers. With over two decades of experience and a CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) designation, Curtis has brokered commercial real estate including industrial properties, shopping centers, strip malls, trailer parks, bars, restaurants, hotels and multi-unit apartment buildings. Unlike many brokers, Curtis isn’t intimidated by bank foreclosures either.
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