When you are negotiating your commercial lease, you may be focused on things that feel the most immediate. Matters like the lease term, rental rate and CAM charges/fees all factor into your decision-making process. However, the spectrum of possible benefits or added responsibilities that your commercial lease can give you, or impose on you, can go much, much further. Even considerations like determining whether or not a tenant is liable to a landlord’s insurer for a fire in the tenant’s space may come down to exactly how the lease was written. In other words, every aspect and each detail potentially matters, so be sure your interests are protected by a knowledgeable South Florida commercial leasing attorney.
One recent example of this concept played out in state court in Miami. A restaurant chain signed a 190-month lease for a space in Miami Beach in 2010. Almost five years into the lease, a fire broke out in the restaurant’s kitchen. The insurance company that insured the property eventually paid the landlord more than $2.1 million. Subsequently, however, the insurance company took action against the tenant, filing a subrogation claim and seeking to recover damages from the tenant.
The tenant defended against the insurer’s subrogation action by asking the judge to dismiss the case. The tenant’s argument was that, based upon the language in the lease agreement it signed with the landlord, it was an implied co-insured with the landlord. (If the tenant was an implied co-insured, then the insurer couldn’t pursue subrogation; if it wasn’t, then the insurer could.)