The Importance of a Florida Commercial Real Estate Attorney

Florida Commercial Real Estate AttorneyBy definition, commercial real estate is any property that is used to make a profit. By this definition, the amount of properties that are classified as commercial real estate is astronomical. With a great deal of American and Florida land being used as commercial real estate, there are many federal laws, state laws, and local ordinances that pertain to commercial real estate. For this reason, many who chose to invest in real estate, especially in the state of Florida, have chosen to hire a Florida commercial real estate attorney. With the help of an attorney, those who seek to earn a profit from the property that they own, have the reassurance that they are following the law. Hiring an attorney will also limit their risk of being foreclosed on, sued, and fined.

Types of Commercial Real Estate

A main reason that commercial real estate law seems complicated is because there are many different types of commercial real estate properties to be aware of. There are a number of properties that are obviously commercial. These properties include office buildings, industrial parks, and retail centers, where businesses are housed. Typically if the space is occupied by a business for profit, it is commercial. Office buildings, industrial parks, and retail centers are considered commercial real estate because the businesses occupants pay rent to the buildings’ owners in order to occupy the space.

Likewise, homes owned by their occupants are considered residential real estate. However, this does not apply to all buildings used as residences. There are however, a few types of properties that we may not ordinarily think of as commercial real estate. These include multifamily housing units such as apartments, and rented homes. The owners of these spaces likely rent them out to the residents for profit, just as the owners of office buildings and retail centers rent space to businesses. Even though these homes are designed as primary residences for individuals, the property owners hope to earn a profit, which means the property is classified as commercial real estate.

Florida Commercial Real Estate AttorneyAs you can see, these laws can quickly become complex. While some properties are considered commercial real estate, the local government through land use and zoning laws may consider the land as residential. Ultimately, the way property is classified for real estate purposes may differ from the zoning classification. The classification of commercial real estate means the property’s owner earns a profit from it, whereas the residential zoning means that occupants use the property as a dwelling or home. The way a property is zoned (residential, commercial, or even agricultural) does not determine its real estate classification. This is because each county, and some cities, have their own zoning rules and regulations. If you are planning on investing in multifamily housing, or buying homes, with the intention of renting them out for profit, it is best if you hire a qualified and experienced Florida commercial real estate lawyer to ensure you are abiding by the proper regulations and laws.

Other types of commercial real estate include agricultural land, hotels, and special purpose property. Agricultural land is considered commercial real estate because the agriculturists who tend to the land hope to sell their agricultural goods for a profit, thus they strive to earn a profit from the property. Hotels are also classified as commercial real estate much like apartments are classified as commercial real estate.

Special purpose properties are properties that house businesses which tend to add to the quality of life of their customers and clients. They serve a special purpose in life and society. Special purpose commercial real estate is very common in Florida because of the state’s large tourism industry. Some examples of special purpose real estate include: theme parks, performing arts centers, theaters, nursing homes, marinas, self-storage spaces, car washes, bowling alleys, funeral homes, community centers, and churches.

Five Types of Commercial Real Estate Laws to be Aware of

Florida Commercial Real Estate AttorneyReal estate laws truly become complicated when there is more than one party involved. An example of this would be a landlord and tenant situation. This situation is common when a property is considered commercial real estate. If you are a business owner and you own the land and building in which your business is ran, then your focus and concerns are more with business law, not commercial real estate law.

Commercial real estate law is your concern if you are a business owner and rent the space in which your business is ran, or if you are a property owner and rent out your property. Either way you should look into hiring a Florida commercial real estate attorney. When meeting with your attorney it is a good idea to have a few questions ready to ask. Five types of laws to be aware of and to ask about are provided in the following list.

Landlord/Tenant Laws

Not only do the owners of buildings have rights, those that occupy the space do as well. Florida Landlord/tenant laws aim to protect these rights of Floridians. Knowing these rights is not only important for landlords and tenants, but also for Florida attorneys. Real estate law is in large part comprised laws that define the relationships between landlords and tenants. These laws govern payment of rental fees, taxation, rights of privacy, necessary disclosures, duration of tenancy, and rights to termination of tenancy.

Disclosure Laws

Disclosure laws are the laws that regulate landlords disclosing certain aspects about the property to the people they plan to rent to, and to the current occupants. Examples of property qualities that Florida law requires landlords to disclose are any history of sinkholes and any history of toxic materials such as lead paint or asbestos.

Zoning and Land Use Laws

Just as was talked about earlier, local governments have regulations that dictate how certain types of land are used. The use of the land determines how it is taxed which is why the government regulates land use. For example, zoning regulations dictate which properties can be used for certain types of retail. This is determined by the environmental makeup of the land, how the property has previously been used, and other factors. Zoning and land use laws can be extensive, thus to ensure that you do not rent our your property to a business that cannot operate without getting the property rezoned, you should hire a Florida commercial real estate attorney whom is familiar with the local zoning and land use laws.

Contract Law

A large part of commercial real estate law is contract law. The lease agreements that tenants sign are indeed contracts. A contract is a legally binding document that one party drafts, both parties agree upon and both parties sign. If a contract is breached by one party, then the other party has the right to take legal action. If you are the property owner, then it is you, or your lawyer, that will draft the contract. Awareness of commercial real estate law is important in drafting these contracts because if there is a clause that conflicts with federal, state, or local laws then the entire contract can become null and void.

Insurance Laws

As a commercial property owner it is more than a good idea to obtain insurance on your property. Insurance to cover the unexpected such as fires, floods, hurricane damage, and theft is a good idea for any property owner. For those that own commercial real estate there are insurance policies that cover these unexpected mishaps, but only for the property owner. As a commercial real estate tenant, looking into renters insurance that covers damages to your personal belongings in these occurrences is a good idea. Each state has different insurance laws, therefore to understand what insurance policy is best for your Florida commercial real estate property you should talk to a Florida commercial real estate attorney.

Where to Find a Florida Commercial Real Estate Attorney

When it comes to real estate, there are only a few places that compare to Florida’s real estate market. Florida was one of the hardest hit during the housing bubble. Although the market has seen a great turn around, there are still many that avoid obtaining a mortgage. This has resulted in many individuals seeking to rent space both for living and for business. As a result, there has been a rise in commercial real estate investments. Due to this rise commercial real estate law has become of high interest to many Florida Attorneys for Real Estate.

Real estate law has always been an area of interest for the Law Offices of Bret Jones, P.A. located in Clermont, FL. At Bret Jones P.A. there is a proven team of attorneys that are willing to help with your commercial real estate law needs. If you are looking for an experienced and highly skilled Florida Commercial Real Estate Attorney, contact Bret Jones, P.A. today.


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