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                          A Summary of
   Florida Real Estate Broker Lien Statutes

Lease Commission Liens

A statutory lien for a lease commission is only available for
commissions earned on the leasing of
commercial real estate.  
To recover a commission for the lease of residential real estate,
the real estate broker must still secure, in some manner, the
right to levy the lien such as by filing a civil action against the
owner of the property or the tenant, obtaining a judgment for
the commission, and securing a judgment lien.  

To levy a lien based directly upon the obligation to pay a
commission for the lease of commercial real estate, the
licensed real estate broker must have a written brokerage
agreement.   The lease commission lien attaches to the owner’s
interest in the commercial real property that is leased if the
owner is obligated to pay the commission
or the lien attaches to
the tenant’s interest in the leased commercial property if the
tenant is obligated to pay the commission.  Therefore the real
estate broker must have a written brokerage agreement but
such agreement will either be with the owner of the real estate,
if it is the owner who is obligated to pay the commission, or the
brokerage agreement will be with tenant who will occupy the
real estate, if it is the tenant who is obligated to pay the
commission.

The party with whom the real estate broker has the brokerage
agreement and who is obligated to pay the lease commission
must be provided with a written
disclosure that discloses the
broker’s right to levy the lease commission lien.  This disclosure
can take the form of statutorily suggested language, though
this exact form is not necessary.  The disclosure must be
provided to the party who is obligated to pay the lease
commission before the execution of the brokerage agreement
or at the same time as the execution of the brokerage
agreement.  The disclosure can, in fact, be part of the
brokerage agreement.

The lease that is ultimately entered into by the owner of the
commercial real estate and the tenant must also be in writing,
oral leases can not be the basis for a lease commission lien.

While a commercial lease commission is
payable at the time
provided for in the brokerage agreement; for the purposes of
the Florida Statutes and the lease commission lien, the
initial
lease commission is
earned the earlier of the occurrence of the
event described in the brokerage agreement which obligates
the appropriate party to pay the
initial lease commission or the
owner of the commercial real estate and the tenant who will
occupy the commercial real estate enter into a written lease for
the property identified in the brokerage agreement.  A lease
renewal commission, if renewals of the lease also result in a
commission being paid to the broker, is
earned when the broker
performs those additional duties described in the brokerage
agreement which are conditions to the lease
renewal
commission.  The exception to the lease
renewal commission
being
earned when the broker performs the additional duties
described in the brokerage agreement is an
automatic lease
renewal commission whereby the broker does not have to
perform any additional acts and the commercial lease simply
being renewed is the only pre-requisite to the payment of the
lease
renewal commission.  In such an event, the automatic
lease
renewal commission is earned when the initial lease
commission is earned.

The commercial lease commission lien can only be waived by
the real estate broker identified in the brokerage agreement,
who is benefited by the lien, and only after the lien has been
earned.

If the broker wishes to maintain the right to enforce the
commercial lease commission lien, a written notice of the
commercial lease commission lien must be recorded in the
Public Records after the lease commission has been
earned
but no later than the earlier of ninety days after the tenant
takes possession of the leased premises or the date the owner
of the leased premises records a deed by which such owner
conveys the title of the leased premises.  Recording the written
notice of the commercial lease commission perfects the lease
commission lien in regards to other liens which may be made of
record later.

The written notice of the lease commission lien must include the
name of the owner of the leased premises, the name of the
party who is obligated to pay the commission, the legal
description of the property being leased, the name and contact
information for the broker, the effective date of the brokerage
agreement, the amount of the lease commission, and certain
required statutory statements including a disclosure if the lease
includes an automatic lease renewal commission.

Within seven days after the written notice of the commercial
lease commission lien has been recorded, a copy must be
delivered to the party who is responsible for paying the lease
commission.

After the written notice of a lease commission lien has been
recorded and the commission has been paid, the real estate
broker must record a release of the recorded written notice
within seven days of such payment of the commission.

To the extent the written notice of the lease commission lien
has been recorded, the written notice usually expires two years
after the written notice was recorded.  However a written notice
of a lease commission lien that includes a lease
renewal
commission provision expires ten years after the written notice
was recorded but this expiration date can be extended for
successive ten year periods by the real estate broker recording
in the Public Records an extension.

A real estate broker who has recorded a written notice of lease
commission lien and the lease commission lien is
payable can
enforce the lien with a foreclosure action.  An action to
foreclose a lease commission lien must be commenced before
the recorded written notice of the lease commission lien
expires.  However, the party obligated to pay the commission
can shorten the time during which the broker must commence
an action to foreclose the lease commission lien for a lease
commission that is
payable by recording in the Public Records
a contest of lien.  After the recording of such a contest of lien,
the broker must file suit to foreclose the lien within sixty days of
the recording of the contest of lien or the lien becomes null and
void and unenforceable.

If the party that is identified in the written notice of lease
commission lien as the party obligated to pay the lease
commission disputes the claim then they can file a civil law suit
in the county court where the leased property is located to
dispute the claim.

                                                                     Return to Summary of Florida
                                                                     Real Estate Broker Lien Statutes
Law Office of
Craig W. Little, P.A.