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Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33148
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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A previous President of my company entered into a

Customer Question

A previous President of my company entered into a lease agreement for the offices/building where we work. The rent has not been paid in the last four (4) months and the owner is now demanding the rent in arrears plus 1.5% per day , as per the terms of the lease agreement.
The company was sold and the new owners are outraged at the high late fee.
Is there a Florida Statue limiting the 1/5% per day fee?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question..Unfortunately, Florida state law does not cover late rent fees. If your lease or rental agreement sets out a specific agreement about late fees, your landlord can enforce it as that is something that would have to be negotiated at the beginning of the lease if the tenant found it unduly burdensome..As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years....I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy.....thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you Barrister,
The company was recently sold, however the previous owner did not pay rent since January 1. The rent sums to a total of $50,000 + , however with the 1.5 % late fees, the rent now sums $over 82,000...a substantial penalty. I don't feel that this is a reasonable amount and wanted to if there are any legal avenues that we could be protected by, due to the landlord being unforgiving towards the amount due.Best,HP
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.
Unfortunately, in a commercial lease situation, the fact that a late fee is high or downright punitive wouldn't give a legal recourse to avoid the contract. That is why it is critical for contracts to be reviewed and carefully read prior to signing because once it is signed it is legally binding on the parties..But if the seller of the company didn't disclose that they were late on the rent, the buyer could sue them for misrepresentation and potentially fraud because the new owner is now on the hook for the late fees under the contract and that likely would have made a difference on any purchase price had it been known at the time...thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.
You are very welcome. Glad to help any time...If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me...thanksBarrister

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