A Brief Introduction About the Florida Lease Agreement
Lease Agreements are one of the most important legal documents for every state and its citizens who are planning to rent or rent out space. This agreement contains all the crucial details of a landlord and a tenant’s relationship. However, each state has its own rules and regulations that must be followed while drafting such agreements.
In Florida, the state laws don’t put any limit on the deposit. Further, as per the law, there can’t be any discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, or religion. Mere paying the rent doesn’t indicate the renewal of the lease term, written consent is necessary.
It can be seen that the Florida Lease Agreement is like most lease agreements, but it has to follow the specific state laws of Florida. All the terms, conditions, or provisions that the State of Florida has described for the Lease Agreements should be included in the agreement by the landlord and tenant to make it legally binding.
The law that protects in Florida is the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968. It is an extensive law describing very crucial details of a Lease Agreement that should be taken care of while drafting a Florida Lease Agreement.
Who Takes the Florida Lease Agreement? – People Involved
The Agreement can be taken by any landlord of Florida state and its tenants. If any citizen of the state wants to rent out the property, he must draft the Lease agreement keeping all state laws of the lease in mind.
For any state, it is very common for people to rent out their space to save some money and to help the ones in need. The property can be both commercial and residential. Both kinds of properties can be rented out.
Purpose of the Florida Lease Agreement – Why Do You Need It?
Properties such as residential or commercial can’t be rented without signing a proper residential/commercial lease agreement that lists down all the necessary information regarding the rental process. Oral Agreements are legal in some places, but it is always advisable to draft proper lease agreements to avoid conflicts and confusion.
There are crucial details such as rent details, deposit details, notice period details, governing law details, maintenance details, a period of the lease, etc. that must be written down as a proof for both the parties involved.
The purpose of the Florida Lease Agreement is to run a smooth tenant and landlord relationship. As per Florida law, landlords are encouraged to ask tenants to fill out a rental application that can give them access to the individual’s details such as credit, criminal, employment, etc. The whole process ensures that the landlord only gets genuine tenants who can financially afford to pay rent on time.
Here are the purpose of a Florida Lease Agreement in pointers –
- To make sure the state laws for lease are followed
- To make a tenant and a landlord’s relationship legally binding
- To avoid any future conflict and confusion
- To list down all the required details of house or space renting
- To smoothly run the landlord and tenant partnership
- To specify the duties of both the parties
Contents of the Florida Lease Agreement – Inclusions
The Florida Lease Agreement must include the names of both tenants and landlords. It is one of the most basic details of any lease or rental agreement. Sometimes the landlord wants to name all the tenants in case a family is renting out the property.
Another basic and important inclusions are rent term or time period details and rent details. Lease agreements don’t last for an indefinite time. They need to have a certain time period decided and mentioned in the agreement.
Some landlord gives space for the short term, and some prefer to give it from the long term. Tenants can choose for themselves as per the need. The amount of rent is also a very crucial detail that must be specified in the agreement in addition to the details about when the rent will be due each month.
How the rent will be paid, what payment method will be acceptable, what is the late fee – all these details will be part of the agreement. The agreement must also mention if the landlord wants to limit the occupancy.
Further, maintenance & repairs rules and regulations must also be clear between the two parties. Florida laws require landlords to provide habitable living conditions. However, once the tenant starts living in the house, who takes responsibility for it and how it will be done is something both parties should specify in the agreement itself.
Deposit policy and pet policy are another two very important details to specify in the Florida Lease Agreement. Florida state laws don’t put any limit on the deposit amount, so the landlord chooses what he has to take from the tenant. In case of any damage by the tenant, the landlord can cut some deposit amount. In what conditions the landlord will cut the deposit, the agreement must answer these questions to avoid any conflict. The agreement must also speak about how long the landlord can hold the deposit.
How to Draft the Florida Lease Agreement?
There are some very specific details in Florida Lease laws that both parties must be aware of. For instance, under the law, the Florida Lease Agreement must include information about the landlord’s rights to access the space that has been rented to a tenant. The landlord has to provide at least 12 hours of notice before entering the tenant’s property. The landlord or his agent must be authorized in the agreement itself. A disclosure related to radon gas must also be included in the Florida Lease Agreement.
Termination policy is another extremely crucial detail of the agreement, and both parties must know how they are going to go about it. The law of the state has a certain say in this as well. When the tenant doesn’t pay rent by the due date, the landlord has to give a written notice to pay the rent. The notice must be mailed or hand-delivered. Even then, if the tenant doesn’t comply, the landlord can terminate the lease. To terminate, the landlord must provide a monthly tenant with at least 15 days’ notice and a yearly tenant with at least 60 days’ notice. Such information must be discussed before signing the agreement by both parties.
While following the state rules, both parties are well within their rights to perform certain negotiations. As long as state laws are being followed diligently, negotiations can be considered by the tenant as well as the landlord. A tenant can orally negotiate with the landlord on rent and deposit to save some money.
Benefits & Drawbacks of the Florida Lease Agreement
Here are some of the benefits of Florida Lease Agreement –
- Sets rules and regulations for all important aspects of a lease agreement
- Makes the landlord and tenant clear about their duties and responsibilities
- Protects the rights and safety of both the parties
- Makes sure that the landlord doesn’t discriminate on the basis of caste, religion, color, etc
- Makes sure both the parties are legally bound to the agreement
There are no drawbacks to signing a Florida Lease Agreement. It protects both parties. One must realize that in the absence of it, landlords wouldn’t have been fair to the tenants. The law provides security and assurance to all the tenants in the state of Florida.
What Happens in Case of Violation?
In case of any breach or violation by either party, the other party can take compliance with the agreement and the governing law mentioned in it. Using the agreement, one party can try to convince the other party and avoid the legal intermediation. However, in case one party is reluctantly not following the terms and conditions written in the agreement, then the other party can take legal help. As specified above, A Florida Lease Agreement is a legally binding agreement.
Some of the common violations are – landlord not returning the deposit on time, tenant not vacating the house on time, landlord harassing the tenant, landlord asking the tenant to leave without giving a proper notice period, tenant vandalizing the property, etc.
In a tenant and landlord relationship, both parties must know their rights, responsibilities, and protection rights. Before signing the agreement, both parties must agree on each and every term orally and then sign the agreement. The relationship should also be personal to ease out things and to avoid complications.
Here is a free sample of the Florida Lease Agreement. Download the PDF form here and customize it as per your need. Proper knowledge of Florida state laws of the lease is advisable for both the involved parties to avoid any conflict and confusion.
Sample Florida Lease Agreement
You can download a Florida lease agreement template here.