Photo of Edward Canterbury

Edward is a Florida Bar Board Certified Real Estate Lawyer. He concentrates his practice in the area of real estate law, including commercial and residential development, acquisitions, finance, survey matters, title insurance and commercial leases. His experience includes representation of developers, builders, governmental agencies, lending institutions, non-profit corporations and national title insurance underwriters.

Edward was the Valedictorian of his law class and served as Law Review Associate Editor. While in law school, Edward authored four publications involving constitutional rights, eminent domain and bankruptcy. He is a three time recipient of West Publishing Outstanding Academic Achievement Award and received four American Jurisprudence Book Awards. Edward also served as a federal judicial intern and completed an internship with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

Edward has been recognized by Florida Super Lawyers® magazine as a “Rising Star” in the field of real estate law every since 2010. While only 5% of lawyers in the entire State are named to Florida Super Lawyers®, no more than 2.5% are named to the Rising Stars list.

Commercial space is rarely “walk-in ready” for the tenant. As a result, landlords and tenants must negotiate for leasehold improvements in order for the leasing transaction to move forward. This can impact new leases, amendments or renewals of existing leases.

Below are some tips when negotiating and drafting the work letter for leasehold improvement responsibilities, originally published in the January 2019 issue of SuiteLife Magazine: Continue Reading Six Tips for Negotiating Leasehold Improvements

Looking back at 2012, there are two memorable phrases that I frequently heard from clients: “I just need a simple lease” and “you are the best real estate lawyer ever to have lived.” This article will focus on the former statement for various reasons, one of which may or may not involve honesty.

“I just need a simple lease.” Interestingly, the remainder of the exchange tends to go something like this:

Please also make sure we have exclusivity, and oh yeah, we’re going to install some improvements which the landlord will pay for, and we may move into the adjacent space if it becomes available, and, one more thing, the rents should apply to the purchase price if we decide to buy the space.”

Simple enough?

The reality is that every lease transaction contains unique facts and circumstances, and each lease should be documented accordingly. For example, a lease for a single tenant building should be structured differently than for a multi-tenant building. A small business may be less equipped to handle certain lease administrative functions as opposed to a national chain. One size does not fit all in the leasing world, and an ounce of effort up front when drafting the lease can prevent significant uncertainty and dispute down the road.

It has been said that parties should approach a lease relationship similar to a marriage (which may hold some truth considering many landlord-tenant relationships can outlast modern marriages). Taking this analogy to its next logical step, the lease document is the prenuptial agreement – which allows the parties to memorialize their agreement at a point in time when they are both optimistic about the new relationship and willing to negotiate reasonably. Otherwise, it can be difficult to negotiate once the relationship experiences hardships or setbacks.

Unfortunately, I have seen too many instances where clients are governed by sloppy lease documents that do not give the parties the benefits of their initial bargain. Some of these instances involve what I suspect to be dreadful “internet forms.” Fortunately, simplicity can be achieved in most lease transactions, by striking the delicate balance of simplicity and effectiveness. Our role as real estate attorneys is to help achieve that delicate balance, to help our clients prosper throughout the lease term. The next time you are entering into a lease, it might be worthwhile to take a step back and give serious consideration to the possibility that your relationship with your landlord or tenant may change in the future, but the lease will remain the same. Of course, we hope that any change in the relationship is for the better.  

Commercial Lease.jpgCommercial leases often contain the option of additional or “renewal” terms to extend the lease term. Reviewing and understanding this provision in your lease can help maximize your lease rights, whether you are the landlord or the tenant. This post focuses on the importance of a well-drafted renewal option provision, and the need to monitor critical deadlines.

Mechanics of Renewal Options

Understanding the mechanics of renewal options is important. Some parties prefer automatic renewals, while others favor the delivery of notice to exercise renewals. There can be one or more renewal options. Several factors can influence how to best structure the renewal option provision, such as current and anticipated market conditions, landlord concessions, tenant incentives, business planning, and your administrative ability to monitor deadlines, to name a few. 

Continue Reading Understanding Commercial Lease Renewal Options

iStock_000016386965XSmall.jpgSecurity must keep pace with technology. We experience it first-hand. Remove your shoes, jacket, liquids and electronics. Place them on the conveyor belt, and proceed to the body scanner. But wait, this seems odd – I’m heading into my real estate closing, not the airport, right? 

Fortunately, real estate transactions do not command the physically invasive security measures that accompany aviation, but the gap may be narrowing slightly based upon recent alerts. National and local title insurance underwriters and The Florida Bar have recently published alerts in reaction to the latest fraud scam affecting real estate transactions – the weapon of choice is the Smartphone.

How It Works

Continue Reading Fraud Scam with Smartphone Endangers Real Estate Transactions

money.jpg“Short sales” deserve attention as we continue focusing on opportunities in a down real estate market. As you probably know, a short sale is where the current lender agrees to release property from the lien of the mortgage in exchange for less than the outstanding mortgage debt. Shorts sales gain popularity as owners owe more on their outstanding mortgage than their property is currently worth.

The devil is in the details with commercial and residential short sales. All parties to the transaction (seller/borrower, lender, buyer, guarantor(s)) should consider how to protect themselves with written agreements. This article will examine some of the critical terms that should be reduced to writing when navigating a short sale.

Essential Contract Terms

A short sale comes to life when a contract for sale is executed by the seller/borrower and buyer.  At a minimum, the contract should clearly state that the transaction is a short sale and provide 

Continue Reading Short Sales: Don't Sell Yourself Short

“Title insurance” is a term that is frequently uttered when discussing real estate transactions. Title insurance costs money, which should grab your attention, but do you really know what it is? It is not just another closing cost reflected on a settlement statement. In fact, title insurance is a unique animal in the insurance world, and understanding its nuances can protect your investment – for much longer than you may think.

This post is a title insurance guide for potential buyers of real estate, and is intended to provide valuable information to real estate enthusiasts engaged in any aspect of a transaction. Although this post focuses on title insurance as it relates to the purchase and sale of real estate, it is important to note that title insurance also applies to lending transactions involving real estate.

What is Title Insurance and Why is it Unique?

Continue Reading Title Insurance Demystified