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Florida Residential Lease Agreement for Rental Properties
Leases are the cornerstone of a successful landlord-tenant relationship, providing a legal framework for both parties to enter a harmonious agreement.
In Florida, residential lease documents—including their structure, nature, and contents—are regulated by Florida landlord tenant laws. For this reason, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the law before constructing a lease.
This guide will walk you through the crucial components of Florida lease agreements, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. And to make your journey easier, we’re offering a free Florida lease template for download!
A Florida lease is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental of a residential property within the state. This lease adheres to Florida landlord-tenant laws, providing a clear framework for both landlords and tenants to follow, thus fostering a secure and transparent rental environment.
The following components should be included in every Florida lease agreement. Keep in mind that these components primarily apply to residential leases; a Florida commercial agreement will necessarily have different requirements.
This section specifies the lease’s start and end dates, establishing the duration of the Florida rental agreement.
Here, you’ll find details regarding the rent rate, due date, and the status of rent control. In Florida, rent control laws are prohibited except in housing emergencies, during which Florida municipalities may instate rent control laws for one-year periods (Fla. Stat. § 125.0103(2)). In general, Florida landlords can increase rent as they see fit, as long as they give 15 days’ notice for month-to-month leases, 30 days’ notice for quarter-to-quarter leases, and 60 days’ notice for annual leases (Fla. Stat. § 83.57). All rent details should be defined in the lease as clearly as possible.
The penalties for missing rent payments should be clearly stated in the lease, as should any exceptions. Late fees in Florida must be “reasonable,” which is considered no more than $20 or 20% of monthly rent, whichever is greater (Fla. Stat. § 83.808(3)). Florida state law requires that landlords include the amount and conditions of all late fees in the Florida rental agreement.
This section of the lease includes details about the security deposit, including its amount, where it will be stored, and how/when it will be returned. In Florida, there is no limit on security deposit amounts, so landlords can charge any amount they deem appropriate.
However, Florida landlords are required to keep any security deposits they collect in a separate bank account. If that account is interest-bearing, the landlord must pay the tenant interest on their deposit at a rate of either 75% of the annualized average interest rate, or 5% per year simple interest (Fla. Stat. § 83.49(1)). Note that Florida’s security deposit disclosure law requires landlords to inform tenants of these facts. Additionally, security deposits must be returned to tenants within 15 days after the lease ends or 30 days after the landlord notifies the tenant that deductions will be made.
All details related to security deposits should be plainly stated in the security deposit section of a Florida lease agreement.
This section encompasses crucial required disclosures in Florida, which are information that must be disclosed to the tenant in the lease before they agree to rent the property. In Florida, the required disclosures are:
- Lead-based paint – Landlords in all 50 states must disclose lead-based paint hazards in rental agreements for most properties built before 1978.
- Landlord/agent identity – Florida landlords must disclose the name and address of the person who receives demands and notices (either the landlord, property manager, or other agent).
- Radon — If a rental agreement lasts longer than 45 days, Florida landlords must issue a warning about radon gas.
- Fire Protection — Florida landlords must notify new tenants of the fire protections made available in all buildings over three stories.
- Security Deposit Disclosure – Florida landlords who own five or more dwelling units must disclose to tenants where the security deposit is being stored (the name of the account depository) within 30 days of receiving it. Landlords must also state whether the tenant is entitled to interest on the deposit.
Landlord Right to Entry
In Florida, there are specific laws governing when a landlord can enter a rental property. Florida landlords must give tenants at least 24 hours’ notice before entering for any non-emergency reason, and they can only enter between 7:30am and 8:00pm (Fla. Stat. § 83.53(2)). These entry procedures should be stated in the Florida lease agreement so that tenants know what to expect when entry is required for inspections, showings, etc.
Repairs & Maintenance
The lease outlines how and when tenants should submit maintenance requests and clarifies the process for addressing necessary repairs. Every Florida residential lease agreement should specify which maintenance responsibilities are the landlord’s and which are the tenant’s.
Lease Termination/Renewal Procedures
This section details the procedures for early lease termination and breaking the lease, including eviction processes. Specifically, the lease should clearly state how many days’ notice tenants need to provide the landlord to announce their intent to either renew or terminate the lease.
A Florida residential lease agreement should also clearly describe what happens if the tenant breaks the lease. Before filing for eviction in Florida, landlords must send eviction notices of specified lengths: A three-day notice to pay or quit for nonpayment, a seven-day notice to cure or quit for lease violations, or a seven-day quit notice for major damage, disturbances, or repeated violations. These notice periods should be specified to the tenant so that both parties are clear on what will happen if the tenant fails to uphold the lease agreement.
Any specific community rules or regulations, such as policies on smoking, guests, and pets, are listed in this section. You may also include a Florida sublease agreement if tenants are permitted to sublease their units.
Joint and Severability Clause
This clause is for leases with multiple roommates and explains the legal consequences if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. It ensures that the entire lease isn’t invalidated due to one roommate’s breach.
Both the landlord and tenant will sign the lease either on paper or electronically, ensuring a secure and convenient process.
Florida Lease Agreement Download
To make your leasing journey simpler, we offer a free, downloadable Florida lease agreement. This template is tailored to meet the specific requirements of Florida state law, making it a valuable tool for landlords and tenants.
Understanding the nuances of a Florida residential lease agreement is vital for a smooth and legal tenancy. We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the components of a Florida lease. To get started on the right foot, download our free Florida lease template and ensure a transparent, lawful, and satisfying rental experience.