Force Majeure Clauses in Florida Real Estate Contracts: What You Need to Know
A force majeure clause is a provision in a contract that allows one or both parties to excuse (or sometimes delay) their performance obligations if circumstances beyond their control arise. These circumstances are typically called “force majeure events.”
Force majeure clauses are common in real estate contracts, but they are not always clearly defined. This can lead to disputes between the parties if a force majeure event occurs.
Here are some examples of force majeure events that could be covered by a real estate contract:
- Hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters
- Labor strikes
- Supply chain disruptions
- Government regulations
- Acts of war
- Terrorist attacks
- Civil unrest
- Power outages
- Other events that are beyond the reasonable control of the parties
It is important to note that not all force majeure events will be covered by a real estate contract. The specific events that are covered will depend on the language of the contract, which are typically strictly construed by courts.
If a force majeure event occurs, the parties to the contract will need to determine whether the event is covered by the force majeure clause. If it is, then the parties may be excused from their performance obligations. If there is a disagreement as to whether or not an event is covered by a force majueure clause, it will be up to a court of law to determine this. This can be costly and time-consuming for the parties.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind about force majeure clauses in Florida real estate contracts:
- The force majeure clause should be specific and clearly define the events that are covered. This will help to avoid disputes between the parties if a force majeure event occurs.
- The force majeure clause should also specify the consequences of a force majeure event, such as whether it excuses performance or simply delays performance.
- The force majeure clause should be negotiated between the parties. This will help to ensure that the clause is fair and equitable.
If you are considering entering into a real estate contract, or if you are involved in a real estate transaction and a force majeure event occurs, it is important to consult with an experienced real estate lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and options under the contract and the law.