Commercial tenants may file a legal action against a property owner when the circumstances of an eviction proceeding have caused significant harm. Florida courts generally review the terms of a lease agreement to determine whether a landlord has failed to uphold an obligation.

If a tenant cannot pay rent on time, a property owner must continue to honor the terms of the lease, even during legal proceedings, such as an eviction. Falling behind on rent does not give a landlord permission to rescind a contract or fail to honor any of its agreed-upon terms.

Shopping mall tenant files countersuit alleging defamation

After the owner of a Sunshine State shopping mall began proceedings to evict a well-known luxury retailer, he allegedly began to make disparaging statements. In a complaint filed in response and reported by Footwear News, the tenant asserts the landlord breached the contract’s confidentiality terms.

The retailer’s CEO alleges that the landlord’s public remarks tarnished the company’s reputation. The complaint also claims the landlord purposefully left relative facts out of his remarks. According to the tenant’s countersuit, the landlord’s alleged intent was to apply pressure to the retailer to pay the back rent.

Mediation, negotiation or litigation may resolve a lease dispute

Not all disputes between landlords and tenants end up in court. In many cases, both parties may find that it is much more cost-effective to settle an issue through mediation or negotiation.

The language contained in a lease may also have an effect on the outcome of a dispute between the involved parties. Whether a party is a landlord or a tenant, the terms and verbiage contained in the lease contract deserve careful consideration before signing.