Florida Residential Lease Agreement

A landlord renting residential property to tenants will present them with a residential lease to sign as their rental agreement. A standard residential lease is a contract outlining the terms agreed to by, in this case, the “lessor” (or owner) and the “lessee” (or tenant).

This article will guide you through the rules and regulations to keep in mind regarding your Florida residential lease agreement.


Sample Florida Lease Agreement

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Download our free sample Florida rental lease form

This rental lease is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a lawyer before drafting your lease.

Guidelines for Renting Your Florida Residential Property

We strongly recommend that when you receive an application from a prospective tenant, you carefully check their credit history and current employment to verify that they will be able to pay their rent. In Florida, you can use a rental application where the tenant can detail their personal information and provide consent for you to run a credit check on them.

Rather than facing possible lawsuits or debt collectors as an individual or partnership, we recommend you form an LLC for your real estate business. This will protect your personal assets and keep them separate from the finances of your rental properties. An LLC will give your business other benefits as well, including a flexible structure that has great advantages at tax time.

Rules to Keep in Mind When Creating a Rental Lease in Florida

Identification

Property owners must list themselves or an authorized agent who is allowed to access the premises and to receive notices.

Security Deposits

A landlord is legally allowed to ask for any amount as a security deposit.

After you receive the security deposit, you must inform your tenant, within 30 days, about where the money has been deposited and whether it’s in an interest-bearing or a non-interest-bearing account.

When a tenant has moved out of your building, you must return all funds within 15 days unless you are deducting some part of the amount.

  • If you are making deductions, you must return the remainder within 30 days.

Your Florida lease must also contain these exact words, in all caps:


“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.”

Fire

Any building more than three stories tall must notify its tenants of any sort of fire protection the building has.

Lead Paint Disclosure

Landlords are required to inform their tenants of any lead-based paint in the walls or ceiling, including in the undercoatings. This is true for all housing units built before 1978.

Notice Given for Access

You must give reasonable notice before entering your tenant’s domicile to inspect it, make repairs or improvements, supply services, or show the property.

  • “Reasonable notice” means at least 12 hours
  • A “reasonable time” to make repairs means between 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

The landlord is allowed to enter without any notice if:

  • There’s an emergency, or
  • The tenant agrees to let you in, or
  • The tenant has unreasonably withheld consent, or
  • The tenant is absent more than half the time without notifying you.

The landlord is not allowed to abuse this right nor use it to harass tenants.

Radon Gas

Your Florida lease must contain the following words exactly:

“RADON GAS: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that, when it has accumulated in a building in sufficient quantities, may present health risks to persons who are exposed to it over time. Levels of radon that exceed federal and state guidelines have been found in buildings in Florida. Additional information regarding radon and radon testing may be obtained from your county health department.”

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Download our free sample Florida rental lease form

This rental lease is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a lawyer before drafting your lease.

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