Article Detail

News & Knowledge

COVID-19-Related Lease Modifications Raise New Issues of Liability for Unpaid Rent [Lowndes Leasing Lawyers]

March 18, 2021

Shareholder Dan McIntosh and Associate Samantha Duran discuss what landlords need to be aware of when negotiating lease workouts with assignees/subtenants to provide rent relief during COVID-19.


As pandemic-related shutdowns battered the retail and restaurant industry, many tenants avoided defaulting on their leases by negotiating a lease workout. These agreements often provided tenants some much-needed rent relief in exchange for extending the term of the lease.

However, commercial landlords should be aware that negotiating a lease workout/extension with a subtenant which modifies the term of the lease may relieve the original tenant of any obligation to pay rent should the subtenant default during the extension period.

Generally, when a tenant assigns or subleases its interest in a lease to another entity, the original tenant is still liable on the lease unless the lease provides that the original tenant is released from liability. Landlords often rely on the continuing liability of the tenant when consenting to an assignment or sublease. [Read more]

This is an excerpt from a blog post originally written on Lowndes Leasing Lawyers.


This article is informational only. You should consult an attorney before acting or failing to act. The law may change rapidly and no warranty is given. LOWNDES DISCLAIMS ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ALL ARTICLES ARE PROVIDED AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS. Consult a Lowndes attorney if you wish to establish an attorney/client relationship.
Daniel

Destined to become a lawyer, Dan is a Central Florida native surrounded by more than a handful of lawyers among his relatives – including his dad who was the City Attorney for a number of Central Florida cities and public entities, siblings, cousins, in-laws, and even children. But first Dan wanted to explore the ski slopes of the “wild west” after attending Duke University and before returning to his southern roots to attend the University of Florida Law School. While in college, Dan worked in high-end retail and as a rodman on a survey crew. With this surveying experience behind him, Dan ultimately found his passion in real estate law.

With a focus on business trends, Dan has successfully guided some of the most recognizable Central Florida companies through multi-site, multi-jurisdictional real estate acquisitions, financings, and dispositions. He advises clients on acquisition, leasing and financing, title review and survey analysis, environmental issues and zoning, with attention to every detail of these transactions – from document preparation, review of title commitments, endorsements and coverages, surveys, and closing statements, and all the negotiating and documentation in between. Clients include owners and lenders of shopping centers, retail stores, restaurants, gasoline and convenience stores, golf courses, ski resorts, hotels, and condominium properties.

In addition, Dan has negotiated and closed hundreds of high end residential transactions on sites throughout the southeast.

As a real estate leader in the firm, Dan’s mission has included building and mentoring efficient teams committed to the clients’ business success, echoed in his commitment to his community. A resident of Winter Park for many years, Dan has served in leadership roles on many civic, church, and charitable boards. A graduate and long-time participant in the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program, Dan served as its alumni association president, wrote its initial by-laws, and was a recipient of its Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Community Leader Award. His leadership role on the Winter Park Library Board is helping to bring the City’s vision of a new library and events center to life in Martin Luther King Park. Dan is also a past president of the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and has been a member of its Board for over 20 years.

Samantha

Samantha Duran is an attorney in the firm’s Real Estate Group. She focuses her practice in the areas of real estate development, finance and transactions, condominiums, property owners’ associations, commercial leasing, commercial lending and title insurance.

Samantha earned her juris doctorate from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she graduated cum laude and was selected for Order of the Coif. She received her bachelor’s degree in legal studies and political science from the University of Central Florida and was a member of the Phi Delta Phi legal honor society.

Prior to joining Lowndes as an attorney, Samantha was a summer clerk with the firm. While at law school, she served as a legal extern for both the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and the University of Florida Self Insurance Program. She was also articles editor for The Florida Law Review, a research assistant for Professor William Page, and a teaching assistant for Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy classes, as well as a volunteer for the Restoration of Civil Rights Project.

In her free time, Samantha enjoys training at Orange Theory Fitness and hiking.

Meritas Law Firms Worldwide logo
Do Your Part Logo