Notice of Commercial Lease Termination

Lougas v. Sophia Enterprises, Inc., 4D12-2355 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013):

The Appellant contested the court’s final judgment in favor of the Landlord. The Appellant asserted that the Landlord terminated the Lease and any legal obligations by sending a notice of termination.

The Appellant had entered into a five-year commercial lease with the Landlord. The Lease provided that in the event the Appellant assigned his rights under the Lease, the Appellant would still be responsible for any unpaid rents by his assignee. Additionally, the Landlord could unilaterally terminate the Lease in the event of a sale of the leasehold property after providing sixty days written notice to the tenant.

The Appellant sold his business and assigned his interest in the Lease to Assignee. The Landlord sent Assignee notice to vacate. Assignee made several attempts at getting the Landlord to rescind the termination, but the Landlord never rescinded the termination notice. Despite the termination notice, Assignee continued to pay and the Landlord continued to accept rent. When Assignee failed to timely pay rent, the Landlord sued Assignee and the Appellant for breach of the Lease.

The Fourth District Court of Appeal disagreed with the court’s finding. The only evidence the court had to determine that there was no termination was that Assignee disagreed with the basis for the termination and continued to pay rent. The Assignee’s continued rent payments created a month-to-month tenancy independent of the Lease.

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