The Florida rental agreements are legal contracts between a landlord and a tenant for the use of real property for regular payments (“rent”), usually made monthly. These agreements are governed by Florida landlord-tenant law and may include additional terms and conditions (which can’t supersede state law).
Florida Rental Agreement Types
Common Rental Agreements in Florida
- The Florida Bar’s Residential Lease (Single Family Home/Duplexes) – this template, for use by Florida single-family homes or duplexes (for rental terms that do not exceed 1 year) is provided by The Florida Bar. This easy-to-read template outlines landlord-tenant laws and also includes an Early Termination Fee/Liquidated Damages Addendum.
- The Florida Bar’s Residential Lease (Apartments/Multi-Family) – this template, for use by Florida apartments, condominiums, cooperatives, or units in multi-family rental housing (as long as the lease term does not exceed 1 year) is provided by The Florida Bar. This form shall not be used for duplexes, commercial, agricultural, or other residential properties. It provides an extensive list of rules and procedures, including specifics that go as far as outlining conduct for overnight guests.
Florida Required Lease Disclosures
- Landlord’s Name & Address (required for all) – To establish communication between landlord and tenant for serving legal notices, Florida landlords must provide a notice in or alongside their lease agreement that outline contact information of anyone authorized to act on behalf of the property.
- Dangers of Radon Gas (required for all) – All Florida leases are required to include a specific disclosure about the dangers of radon gas in the property to help protect potential tenants.
- Security Deposit Holdings (required for some) – When a landlord manages 5 or more individual rental units in Florida, they are required to disclose where any security deposit is held, any information about accruing interest, and a specific notice provided by the state to ensure it is handled correctly.
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure (required for some) – To protect prospective tenants, every Florida lease agreement must include a lead-based paint disclosure form and EPA-approved pamphlet regarding the dangers of lead paint in addition to any known hazards that exist in the rental building.
To learn more about required disclosures in Florida, click here.
Florida Landlord Tenant Laws
- Warranty of Habitability – A Florida landlord must always provide their tenant with adequate plumbing, running water, electrical lighting, and more. If any of these amenities become inoperable, the landlord must repair them within 20 days of a request from a tenant. Otherwise, a Florida tenant may be able to withhold rent (after 7 days of notice) or perform a repair and deduct (after 7 days of notice).
- Evictions – A Florida landlord may evict tenants for a number of reasons including, but not limited to failure to pay rent, a violation of a leasing term, or committing an illegal act. Landlords must provide tenants with prior notice to pay, comply or quit, depending on the type of eviction. As such, this eviction process tends to take around a week or a few months.
- Security Deposits – Florida has no statutory limit on collecting a security deposit. Once a tenant vacates the rental property, a Florida landlord has 15 days to return a security deposit with no deductions and up to 30 days to return a security deposit with deductions.
- Lease Termination – A month-to-month lease in Florida can be terminated with 15 days of advance notice. A fixed-term lease, on the other hand, can be terminated without penalty by a tenant after supplying proof of active military duty, dwelling uninhabitability, landlord harassment, or a specific lease term violation on the landlord’s part.
- Rent Increases & Fees – Florida landlords do not need to provide notice for rent increases and do not limit the amount a landlord can charge for rent increases or late fees. However, bounced check fees are limited to either $25, $30, $40, or 5% of the check depending on the amount.
- Landlord Entry – A Florida landlord may enter a tenant’s dwelling legally by providing 12 hours of notice and must enter at a reasonable time (between the hours of 7:30 am and 8:00 pm). A lease agreement may alter this standard, though. Also, any set standard does not apply in emergency situations unless otherwise stated.
- Settling Legal Disputes – A Florida landlord or tenant may file a case (including evictions) valued at up to $8,000 in the state’s small claims court. These cases are subject to a 5-year and 4-year statute of limitations for written and oral contracts, respectively.
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Florida, click here.