According to the Florida Senate, a lease agreement is a written agreement to rent (lease) a property. A lease agreement is required by the State of Florida any time an individual or business rents a property. A Florida residential lease agreement is a written agreement between a tenant and landlord to lease an apartment or other living space.
Individuals or businesses are not required to write a lease agreement at the beginning of their relationship. Instead, it is a requirement only after the landlord verifies the information that a tenant supplies via a rental application, such as credit and employment status, and accepts the application.
Once the landlord accepts the application, the two parties negotiate the terms of a lease and write them down. Finally, the tenant must sign the lease agreement and pay the first month’s rent. Often, a lease agreement outlines that a tenant has to pay a security deposit too.
Florida Lease Agreement Types
There are different types of florida lease agreement based on the use and purpose of the agreement. Some of the types are given below:
Association of realtor’s agreement
Landlords in Florida should know that they must use the different associations of realtors’ lease agreements depending on whether they rent multi-family properties or single-family homes. The association of realtors’ lease agreements helps protect landlords when entering rental arrangements with tenants throughout the State of Florida.
Bar association lease agreement
The Florida Bar association lease agreements regulate the legal relationship between a tenant and a landlord. Landlords in Florida can use bar association lease agreements when renting single-family and multi-family homes to create the legal framework when renting property.
One of the best practices landlords should implement when going through rental applications is to run background checks on their potential tenants. Most importantly, they should make sure that applicants are employed and make enough money to afford to pay rent for the property they applied for.
Commercial lease agreement
Landlords leasing space to commercial tenants needs a unique lease agreement for business purposes. The official name of such agreements is the Florida commercial lease agreement. A commercial lease agreement usually outlines several provisions ranging from the lease term to penalties for late payments. Before signing a commercial lease agreement, landlords should consult a legal professional to ensure all-important terms and conditions are covered in the legally binding agreement.
Condominium lease agreement
A Florida condominium lease agreement is a contract between a tenant and a landlord. It’s perfect for landlords who own an apartment or house in a building or complex of buildings. While the condominium lease agreement addresses the concerns of both the tenant and property owner, it also considers a condominium board’s concerns. The document becomes legally binding once both parties sign it. A condominium rental agreement has to adhere to relevant Florida and Federal laws.
Month-to-month lease agreement
Landlords who are interested in renting properties in the short term should use a Florida month-to-month lease agreement. According to Florida State law, the month-to-month lease can be terminated with a minimum of 15 days’ notice. A landlord and tenant can specify another termination period in the agreement for 15 days or more. However, the agreement will continue to be legally binding until one of the parties cancels it.
Rent-to-own lease agreement
A Florida rent-to-own lease agreement is perfect for landlords who want to specify terms under which a tenant is eligible to purchase the rented property. The rental application plays a key role in this instance as a landlord uses it to check the tenant’s financial background. Upon reviewing the tenant’s financial background, a landlord establishes tenant-specific terms for purchasing the property and adds them to the rent-to-own agreement.
Roommate lease agreement
A roommate lease agreement is a legally binding document between tenants who share living spaces with other people in Florida. The agreement can be signed by two or more tenants (roommates). It puts tenants in a position of responsibility as it specifies the conditions which tenants have to meet while living together. The agreement also specifies the contract’s expiration date.
Once they sign a lease agreement, roommates are responsible for one another under the condition outlined in the document – but that’s not all. It also helps avoid disagreements as it reminds the roommates about the specifics of living together.
Standard lease agreement
A Florida standard lease agreement outlines the specifics of the most common type of lease contract. It provides a legal reference for landlords and tenants and specifies terms and conditions for renting a property and paying the rent. Tenants should be aware that landlords often charge a fee to cover background check costs upon reviewing a rental application. A standard lease agreement is subject to change, and landlords and tenants usually negotiate the terms before signing it.
Florida state law allows tenants to lease rented space to another tenant as long as the landlord agrees with such an arrangement. A Florida sublease agreement enables landlords and tenants to regulate the subleasing under specific terms and conditions.
A sublease agreement is a contract between a sublessor and a sublessee. This rental contract outlines the rent, payment date, fees, deposits, rights, obligations, and duties of the sublessee. After both tenants sign the sublease agreement, the landlord must sign it as proof of their consent to sublease rented space, thus making the document legally binding.
The contract makes the sublessee liable to the sublessor while the sublessor remains liable to the landlord. If the sublessor terminates their lease agreement with the landlord, the sublessee doesn’t have a legal right to lease the property.
While a tenant is required to submit the specific information through a rent application, the landlord is required to disclose the following essential disclosures:
Identification ( § 83.50(1))
Property owners must list themselves and authorized agents who can access the property.
Fire (§ 83.50(2))
Apartment buildings over three stories high must be notified of fire protection systems.
Lead-based paint disclosure (Section 1018 of Title X)
Landlords and authorized agents are required by federal law to provide disclosure of known lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards on the property in the Florida Rental lease agreement.
Radon disclosure (§ 404.056)
Landlords and authorized agents are required to state the following in every Florida rental lease agreement:
RADON GAS: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that, when accumulated in a building in sufficient quantities, may present health risks to persons exposed to it over time. Levels of radon that exceed federal and state guidelines have been found in buildings in Florida.
Security deposit disclosure (§ 83.49)
If a landlord collects a security deposit from a tenant, the Florida statute requires the landlord to provide the following information about the security deposit funds within no more than 30 days of signing the lease:
- Banking institution where the account was opened.
- Whether it is an interest or non-interest account.
- In case it is an exciting account, the landlord must state the interest rate percentage.
- They must include the (§ 83.49(2)(d)) disclosure written in capital letters in the Florida lease agreement:
YOUR LEASE REQUIRES PAYMENT OF CERTAIN DEPOSITS. THE LANDLORD MAY TRANSFER ADVANCE RENTS TO THE LANDLORD’S ACCOUNT AS THEY ARE DUE AND WITHOUT NOTICE. WHEN YOU MOVE OUT, YOU MUST GIVE THE LANDLORD YOUR NEW ADDRESS SO THAT THE LANDLORD CAN SEND YOU NOTICES REGARDING YOUR DEPOSIT. THE LANDLORD MUST MAIL YOU NOTICE WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER YOU MOVE OUT OF THE LANDLORD’S INTENT TO IMPOSE A CLAIM AGAINST THE DEPOSIT. IF YOU DO NOT REPLY TO THE LANDLORD STATING YOUR OBJECTION TO THE CLAIM WITHIN 15 DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE LANDLORD’S NOTICE, THE LANDLORD WILL COLLECT THE CLAIM AND MUST MAIL YOU THE REMAINING DEPOSIT, IF ANY.
IF THE LANDLORD FAILS TO TIMELY MAIL YOU NOTICE, THE LANDLORD MUST RETURN THE DEPOSIT BUT MAY LATER FILE A LAWSUIT AGAINST YOU FOR DAMAGES. IF YOU FAIL TO TIMELY OBJECT TO A CLAIM, THE LANDLORD MAY COLLECT FROM THE DEPOSIT, BUT YOU MAY LATER FILE A LAWSUIT CLAIMING A REFUND.
YOU SHOULD ATTEMPT TO INFORMALLY RESOLVE ANY DISPUTE BEFORE FILING A LAWSUIT. GENERALLY, THE PARTY IN WHOSE FAVOR A JUDGMENT IS RENDERED WILL BE AWARDED COSTS AND ATTORNEY FEES PAYABLE BY THE LOSING PARTY.
THIS DISCLOSURE IS BASIC. PLEASE REFER TO PART II OF CHAPTER 83, FLORIDA STATUTES, TO DETERMINE YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS.
Laws About Landlord’s Access to the Property
The 2021 Florida Statutes Title VI, Chapter 83 strictly outlines the landlord’s rights and circumstances when they are allowed access to the leased property.
General access (§ 83.53(2))
The landlord is allowed to enter the property the tenant is leasing as long as they provide reasonable notice. For a notice to be considered reasonable, it has to be provided at least 12 hours prior to accessing the leased property.
Emergency access (§ 83.53(2))
The landlord is allowed to enter the property the tenant is leasing at any time for emergency purposes.
Security Deposit Laws
Security deposit laws are outlined in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd subsections of 83.49 Florida statutes. Here are the security deposit laws and their implications on a Florida rental lease agreement:
The maximum amount for a security deposit
No statute defines the maximum amount of a security deposit, and it’s left for the lessor and lessee to discuss.
Returning to a tenant
The subsection 3a of 83.49 of the Florida statutes states that the landlord has 15 days to return a security deposit to the tenant (including any accumulated interest).
Interest requirements (§ 83.49)
Subsections 1a and 1b of the Florida statutes don’t make collecting the interest a requirement. However, the interest may be collected in two instances:
- If the tenant receives 75% of the annual average interest rate
- If the tenant receives 5% simple interest each year
Separate bank account requirement (§ 83.49)
According to subsections 1a and 1b of the Florida statutes, landlords must place security deposits in a separate Florida bank account.
Late Rent Laws
Here are the noteworthy late rent laws in effect in the State of Florida and how they apply to specific situations:
When is rent due?
The § 83.46 Florida Statutes leaves it to a tenant and landlord to specify the time and location when the tenant must pay rent. The State of Florida doesn’t enforce limitations on a grace period.
The landlord has the right to establish and charge late fees for overdue rent in the lease agreement. However, they should do it before signing the agreement and occupancy so that a tenant and landlord can discuss it. Unfortunately, Florida doesn’t enact a specific minimum or maximum late fee charge.
According to § 68.065 Florida statutes, a landlord can charge the tenant a service fee if they receive a bounced check. The tenant service fees depend on the value of the check. If the value of the check is $50 or less, the fee is $25. For values of the check between $50 and $300, the fee is $30. And for the value of the check greater than $300 or 5% of its total value (the greater value takes priority), a landlord can charge a service fee of $40.
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The State of Florida enforces a florida rental lease agreement as a legal requirement whether a landlord is renting a commercial or residential property. The lease agreement makes contracts between landlords and tenants legally binding while protecting both parties’ rights. There are different types of Florida rental lease agreements depending on the purpose of the agreement. Landlords should ensure they use an agreement relevant to the specific use.