On March 27, the Florida Bar’s Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section’s Landlord-Tenant Committee hosted a telephonic panel discussion on commercial lease issues related to COVID-19.
West Palm Beach Managing Partner Art Menor moderated the panel and spoke on how commercial landlords should respond when a property occupant tests positive for COVID-19. Art discussed how most leases contain specific provisions permitting the landlord to close the building in the event of emergency-type situations and how buildings may be required to close by governmental action but that most are not under the Orders that have been issued to date.
West Palm Beach Litigation partner Matt Chait addressed the legal issues that may be litigated in response to tenant requests for rent relief. Issues that may arise from litigation include force majeure clauses and impossibility, both of which are construed narrowly by courts.
About Arthur J. Menor
Arthur J. Menor is the Managing Partner of the West Palm Beach office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, and Chairman of the Real Estate Leasing Practice Group. A nationally recognized real estate lawyer, Art has over 39 years of experience in all facets of commercial real estate, focusing on commercial leasing and the acquisition and disposition of commercial real estate. He advises landlords and tenants in various aspects of the leasing process and also counsels developers, investors, and lenders. As a seasoned veteran, Art has worked on real estate projects of all sizes and has mastered his craft in improving the lease drafting and negotiation processes, including using technology to build and customize high-quality leasing documents in a cost-effective manner.
About Matthew R. Chait
Matt Chait is a partner in the Business Litigation Practice Group. His statewide practice focuses on commercial real estate and land use litigation, commercial foreclosure and loan guaranty matters, and general business litigation, including partnership and LLC disputes, healthcare, fraud, deceptive trade practices, and complex judgment domestication issues. A Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated commercial litigator, Matt has been recognized by the Daily Business Review as a top 40 attorney under 40 and as a Rising Star by Florida Super Lawyers. He is co-founder and co-editor of the Commercial Real Estate Litigation blog.