Whether or not you are affected by an eminent domain action at this time, you should read this article. If you are a landlord or a tenant, there are some important facts you need to know about this process which will help you structure your lease to maximize gain or minimize loss in the event of an eminent domain taking. A well-written eminent domain clause (usually referred to as a “condemnation” clause) in a lease will establish the rights and duties of both lessor and lessee and determine if and how an eminent domain award must be shared. In the absence of such a clause, Florida eminent domain law establishes rights and duties which may be different than what the parties themselves would have negotiated or desired.
Example of a Condemnation Clause
If the whole or any part of the leased premises is acquired, either by sale in lieu of condemnation or as a result of an exercise of the power of eminent domain, then in and as a direct result of that event, the terms of this lease shall cease and terminate from the date of sale or title vesting as a result of a condemnation proceeding and tenant shall have no claim whatsoever, including claims of apportionment, against the landlord either for the value of any unexpired term of said lease or for the value of leasehold improvements or for any other property or right that might otherwise exist against the landlord. However, nothing in this provision shall limit or destroy any right of tenant to claim moving costs or business loss against the condemning authority where such rights are independently established by statute or other applicable law.
Part 2 of this article will explain what can happen without a condemnation clause in the lease.
Part 3 of this article will address settlement negotiations and apportionment of proceeds.