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Lease disputes can lead to constructive evictions

When leasing a commercial property for business purposes, you depend on your landlord to make sure that if a problem that is covered in the terms of the lease arises, he or she will tend to it promptly.

However, if for some reason a dispute should arise between you and your landlord, you may find yourself facing some form of aggressive or retaliatory actions. The landlord may even attempt to find a way to make you leave the property by allowing it to become uninhabitable.

A constructive eviction can occur if a landlord?s actions in some way greatly interferes with a tenant?s ability to enjoy and use the property. A constructive eviction contains the following three elements:

  • Notice must be given by the tenant to the landlord regarding a problem to which the landlord then fails to take action to remedy.
  • The tenant must vacate the premises owing to the interference.
  • The degree of wrongful actions or wrongful acts of neglect in maintaining the property committed by the landlord must create substantial interference with the tenant?s ability to enjoy the property.

If a constructive eviction occurs, then a tenant is relieved of responsibility for paying rent as of the date the property is vacated. The tenant may also be able to get the landlord to pay compensation for damages owing to the eviction.

But understand, if a court later determines that a constructive eviction did not occur, then the vacating tenant could be held responsible for paying the rent due after he or she had left the property.

It can be difficult determining if the conditions created by a landlord-tenant dispute constitute a constructive eviction. If you are in such a dispute, you may wish to contact a Florida attorney who understands the details of lease agreements. The attorney could assess your situation and advise you on a course of action.