Grab our free sample or generate an official Florida lease agreement for residential use. Read further about required disclosures in Florida, optional addendums for things like pets, and what Florida landlord tenant laws apply to residential lease agreements.
Lease Agreement Sample
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Residential lease agreements in Florida should include the following universally required Florida-specific disclosures: (1) fields for landlord’s address, (2) a notice about the dangers of radon gas and (3) details on how security deposits are kept (for landlords with 5+ units). For units built prior to 1978, you’ll also need to include a disclosure about lead-based paint.
Quick Facts for Florida
Max Security Deposit
Who Needs to Sign
Landlord, all tenants, and all co-signers or guarantors
Landlord’s Address, Dangers of Radon Gas, Security Deposit Holdings (how deposit is being stored)
Legal Early Termination
Beyond written mutual consent, a tenant can break their lease without penalty in Florida if they’re starting active military duty, the unit is considered uninhabitable, or the landlord violates their privacy rights. In these cases, the landlord must make reasonable effort to re-rent the unit. A landlord may break a lease in Florida for a number of reasons, including not paying rent, violating the lease or rental agreement, or committing an illegal act. Before breaking a lease, the landlord must first serve the tenant written notice.
Addendums to Consider
Pets, Utility Allocation, Mold, Criminal Activity, & Marijuana Use (marijuana is legal for medical use in Florida)
What’s in a Florida Residential Lease Agreement
To start, let’s make sure we’re on the same page:
A residential lease agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant for the use of property for a fixed period in exchange for regular payments. By contrast, a rental agreement has no fixed period, and as a result, is usually month-to-month (read more). Residential lease agreements are governed by Florida landlord-tenant law (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 83).
Let’s now go through what you need to include in a residential lease agreement template in Florida. This includes:
- Basic/universal elements – these are applicable to ALL states, not just Florida.
- Florida-specific required disclosures – there are 3, plus 1 conditional federal disclosure.
- Optional items/sections – anything from late rent fees to pet addendums.
Basic Elements of Residential Lease Agreements in Florida
A lease introduction clearly states the full names of the tenant(s) and landlord(s), the date of the agreement and a detailed description of the rental property. It is critical to be as specific as possible when creating a lease introduction. The necessary components of a lease introduction are listed here:
- Names of the tenant and landlord: This is a small, yet crucial, piece of a residential lease agreement. The residential lease should include the full legal names of all adults living in the rental property. These names should be written or typed clearly. Shortened versions of names, abbreviations or nicknames should not be used. This ensures that involved parties are held accountable in the event of legal action.
- Date of the agreement: The date of the lease should be fully written, indicating the month, day and year. Dashes, slashes or abbreviations should be avoided to maintain clarity.
- Terms & Limits of Occupancy: This section defines the beginning and end date of the lease agreement, including provisions for any extensions. After any fixed periods, the contract can be week-to-week, month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter, or from year-to-year. The periods at which the rent is to be paid determine the tenancy.
- Address and description of the rental property: Here, the explicit address of the property should be stated. The landlord’s address should also be stated. This portion of the lease introduction makes it clear to both parties which features of the property are included in the lease. It should list all fixed and non-fixed features that are a part of the property. This may encompass:
- Interior boundaries
- Specific rooms
- Light fixtures
- Ceiling fans
- Air conditioning units
- Yard or other outdoor space
- Parking area
- Shed/additional storage
- Exterior fixtures
- Children’s play structure
- Furnishings, such as tables, chairs, beds, patio furniture or other items
- Rent, Utilities & Security Deposits: The amount of the first month’s rent, security deposit, and the total amount of funds required need to be clearly outlined on the lease agreement. The method by which the funds are to be paid should also be included.
This is a lease (the “Lease”) […] between (Name of owner of the property) (“Landlord”) and (Name of person(s) to whom the property is leased) (“Tenant”), made this day of (Date).
TERM. The lease will be for a term of (Number of months) beginning on (Start date) and ending on (End date).
PREMISES. The premises is a (Type of dwelling i.e. house, apartment, etc.) located at (Address of rental property). The following features are included on the property (List of amenities).
RENT & UTILITIES. Tenants will pay a monthly rent of (Rent amount) on the (Day) of each month. Tenants are responsible for utilities including (List of utilities).
Indicating these features in the lease introduction provides tenants with a list of items that they have access to throughout the duration of the lease and informs tenants which features are expected to remain on-premises after the lease term is complete. It also protects the landlord’s property upon the termination of the residential lease agreement
For landlords, this information should be used for verification purposes. Make sure to ask for current photo identification, such as a driver’s license, to verify each tenant’s identity. Once that’s verified, you’ll want to do background checks on all tenants 18 or older (see our guide here).
Required Disclosures in Florida
Each state’s landlord-tenant laws have different requirements for what needs to be disclosed in a residential lease agreement. Florida is no different. There are 3 things you NEED to have included.
The address of the landlord (or whoever’s acting on behalf of the landlord) has to be disclosed somewhere on the lease so that the tenant knows where to send notices/demands. It’s pretty simple, but here’s the full snippet from § 83.50:
83.50 Disclosure of landlord’s address. In addition to any other disclosure required by law, the landlord, or a person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on the landlord’s behalf, shall disclose in writing to the tenant, at or before the commencement of the tenancy, the name and address of the landlord or a person authorized to receive notices and demands in the landlord’s behalf. The person so authorized to receive notices and demands retains authority until the tenant is notified otherwise. All notices of such names and addresses or changes thereto shall be delivered to the tenant’s residence or, if specified in writing by the tenant, to any other address.
Dangers of Radon Gas
Because some buildings in Florida have been found to have levels of radon gas that exceed federal & state guidelines, lease agreements are required to include a general disclaimer about their dangers. Simply copy & paste the below into your template, and you’re good to go. This is directly from Florida State Statute 404.056(5).
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.
Security Deposit Holdings
Note: this only applies to landlords who rent out 5 or more individual dwelling units. If the number is under 5, this disclosure isn’t required.
If a landlord asks for a security deposit, they have to disclose how those security deposit funds will be kept while the tenant is renting the property, as well as a general disclosure about security deposits & how they work in Florida. The below is taken directly from § 83.49:
The written notice must:
(a) Be given in person or by mail to the tenant.
(b) State the name and address of the depository where the advance rent or security deposit is being held or state that the landlord has posted a surety bond as provided by law.
(c) State whether the tenant is entitled to interest on the deposit.
(d) Contain the following disclosure:
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.
This notice doesn’t necessarily have to be in the lease agreement, but if it’s separate, it has to be sent within 30 days of receipt of the advanced rent + security deposit that starts the rental arrangement.
Lead-Based Paint Hazards
This isn’t Florida-specific, but if the unit being rented out was built before 1978, the landlord is required to do the following 3 things:
- Provide the tenant with an EPA-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint (see latest pamphlet PDFs here).
- Disclose any known information concerning lead-based paint in the unit (i.e. its location, condition, etc.), and include any records or reports about the paint or its hazards. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
- Fill out and attach this disclosure form to the lease.
In other articles online, you may have read about a required disclosure in Florida about fire protection in buildings that are 3 stories or higher. This was removed from Florida’s State Statutes in 2013. So: don’t worry about it.
Optional Sections to Include
Beyond the basic elements of a lease agreement and what needs to be disclosed in the state of Florida, there are some additional details and sections you’ll also want to include.
- Late Fees – Whenever a tenant fails to pay the required rent within a certain number of days, the tenant will be charged a late fee. The two details to include are: (1) how long is “late”, and (2) how much the late fee is.
- Early Termination – If a tenant decides to leave early, an early termination addendum is a good means of protection. In Florida, if you decide that you would like to use this approach, you must present that option to the tenants at the time the lease is signed. The tenant must also decide whether or not they accept the terms. Keep in mind that tenants may not be denied the rental on the basis fo refusing.
- Pet Addendum – Having a pet policy can help you limit the number of pets allowed on the property, as well as protect your property in case of future damages. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the rules regarding service dogs and emotional support animals in rental units.
- Marijuana Use Policy – Medical marijuana is legal in the state of Florida, so you may want to consider adding an addendum for smoking on the premises, for instance.
Pet Addendums in Florida
The landlord must give written permission for a tenant to keep pets on the property. Pets are defined as dogs, cats, birds, fish, or other domestic animals of any kind.
The lease agreement shall specify how many animals the tenant can have and the type of animal.
Tenants are required to pay a pet deposit fee of an amount outlined in the lease, which is non-refundable. If provisions for maintaining a pet is not included in the lease, it shall be added as an addendum to the lease agreement.
The signed pet agreement applies only to the pet specified in the signed contract. The pet addendum may not be substituted or transferred to any other pet. The landlord reserves the right to terminate the pet agreement if the tenant violates the terms of their contract.
Tenants are responsible for keeping their pets under control and not leaving them unattended for an unreasonable amount of time.
Tenants are responsible for their pets and any property damage caused by the pets.
It shall be the tenant’s responsibility to control any flea infestation because of their pets and to pay for the extermination of any and all affected areas.
The landlord is not liable for any injury that occurs from an attack or interaction with an animal, whether it occurs on or off the property. If an attack from an animal occurs and there is no fencing around the property, the landlord is not held liable because of the absence of a fence.
Although they are not required, the tenant is encouraged to obtain pet liability insurance if it is offered as a rider to their renter’s insurance policy.
After the lease has ended, the pet deposit will be used for cleaning the carpets or other areas damaged as a result of having pets on the premises.
Read our guide on pet policies and our blog post about service animal documentation for more information.
Check out our sample of a pet addendum below.
This Addendum is made on [ DATE ] between [ LANDLORD’S NAME ] (Landlord) and [ TENANT’S NAME ] (Tenant), and is understood to modify the Residential Lease for [ PROPERTY ADDRESS ] originally dated [ DATE ].
The landlord grants permission to the tenant to keep the domesticated pet(s) on the premises during the term of the lease agreement (INCLUDE LEASE START AND END DATE). The landlord may revoke permission at any time if the tenant fails to comply with any of the terms and conditions in the lease or following addendums.
2. SERVICE ANIMALS
Service, Guide, Signal, or Support animals are not “Pets” according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as long as the animal is being used by the tenant to support a disability or handicap, or if the tenant is training the animal(s).
If the tenant’s pet actually a Certified Service Animal or in training to be a Certified Service Animal? : _______ Yes _______ No
3. ANIMAL PROFILE
Type of Animal(s): Dog, Cat, Bird, Rabbit, Pig, Reptile, Fish (circle all that apply)
Name of Animal(s): ________________________
Weight of Animal(s): ______________________ (lbs.)
Breed of Animals(s): ______________________
Age of Animal(s): ________________________
Spayed or Neutered?: __________ Yes _______ No
Current on Vaccinations?: _______ Yes _______ No
Valid Animal Licenses?: _________ Yes _______ No
Beyond what’s stated in a residential lease agreement, there are numerous laws that govern a rental arrangement. We’ll go through the most important ones below.
There is no limit on the amount landlords can ask for a security deposit. The tenant is not allowed to use the security depoist as payment of rent during the lease agreement. Within 21 days of the tenant vacating the property, the landlord must give the tenant a written statement explaining any deductions that will be made and the amount. If the tenant does not agree to the claim, they have 15 days to file a written objection. If the tenant does not object in writing, the landlord may deduct the amount from the deposit; the remainder shall be returned to the tenant within 30 days after the notice of the claim for damages. If the tenant allows other persons not on the lease to occupy the property, an additional deposit can be charged.
Lease Termination/Breaking a Lease
Before signing the lease agreement, the landlord may choose to offer the renter the opportunity to lock in a lease-breaking/early termination fee known as “liquidated damages” (which shall be no more than twice the required monthly rent). The tenant must agree to the addendum and submit a 60 days’ notice. These provisions, of course, must also be included in the Florida lease agreement.
Under certain conditions, Florida law provides for military service members to terminate their lease agreement. Any member of the United States Military who is required to move 35 miles or more may do so. This also applies to service members who are discharged from active duty.
Depending on the type of lease agreement, certain notice must be provided:
- Year-to-year – the parties must provide at least 3 months notice of their intent prior to the end of the year.
- Quarter-to-quarter – the parties must provide at least 45 days notice of their intent prior to the end of the quarter.
- Month-to-month – the parties must provide at least 15 days notice of their intent prior to the end of any monthly period.
- Week-to-week – the parties must provide at least 7 days notice of their intent prior to the end of any weekly period.
If the tenant did not pay the rent, voluntarily surrendered possession, or abandoned the property, the landlord may take possession of the property.
A presumption of abandonment exists if the tenant is away from the property for 30 consecutive days, the rent is late, and the tenant hasn’t responded within 10 days to the landlord’s written request for payment.
If the tenant’s rent is not late and the tenant informed the landlord in writing of plans to be away from the property, there shall be no presumption of abandonment.
In Florida, a tenant can be evicted for failure to pay rent, lease violations, failure to maintain the rental property, causing damage to the rental property, and/or disturbing the peace. For different situations, different amounts of notice are required. Here is a key:
- Notice Required for Nonpayment of Rent: 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
- Notice Required to Terminate without Cause: 7- or 15-Day Notice to Quit (weekly and month-to-month tenants, respectively)
- Notice Required for Lease Violations: 7-Day Notice to Cure or Vacate; Unconditional Quit Notice for incurable offenses
The fastest a landlord can evict a tenant for illegal activity on the premises is 7 days, via an Unconditional Quit Notice. If the tenant remains on the property after the amount of time indicated on the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Complaint with the court. Once eviction occurs, the sheriff will post a notice at the rental property giving the tenant 24 hours to leave. If the tenant remains beyond the 24 hours, the sheriff can assist in evicting them, and a padlock may be placed on the property to keep the tenant from returning. Any belongings left inside the rental property at this point can be used as a lien for damages or monies due to the landlord.
Additional Legal Considerations in Florida
- Subletting – A tenant shall not assign a lease agreement, sub-let, or give any license to anyone to use the property without the prior consent of the landlord in writing. Prior approval doesn’t imply consent to future assignments. If a tenant assigns, sub-lets, or grants a license to use the property without permission, the landlord may void the lease agreement.
- Injury liabilities – a landlord shall not be liable for damage or injury to the tenant, the tenant’s guests, family members, or other persons the tenant invites to the property.
- Military discrimination – When offering a property for rent, a landlord shall not discriminate against a service member.
- Entry devices – The door locks, roof, walls, or windows shall not be removed unless it is required for maintenance or repair.
- Displaying a U.S. flag – A tenant has a right to display a United States flag respectfully regardless of whether there is a provision in the lease agreement concerning flags. The displayed flag is to be portable, removable, plastic or cloth, and not larger than 4 and 1/2 feet by 6 feet.
The funds must be paid before the tenants are permitted to occupy the property. After that, the rent is to be paid at the beginning of the rent payment period unless there is a different agreement. For example, if the rent payment period is monthly, the rent is due on the first day of the month.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What can’t a landlord do in case of non-payment of rent?
- Landlords may not disconnect the lights or stop the water or sewer service to the property, EVEN IF the landlord is the one paying for the utility services.
- Landlords are not permitted to change the locks or place any type of device on the property to prevent the tenant from gaining access to the property.
If not specified, how do you determine the period/term of tenancy?
If the duration of the tenancy is not specified in the rental agreement, the duration will be determined by the periods in which the rent is paid.
If weekly rent payments are paid, the tenancy is from week to week. If payments are made monthly, then the tenancy is from month to month., etc.
If the property is provided without rent payments, such as a condition of employment with no specified tenancy, the term will be determined by the employee’s wage pay periods. If the employee’s job is terminated, rent payments will be due the day after the end of the employment period. This is not applicable to residential property managers with a written agreement.
What does Florida law say about hurricanes and other natural disasters?
There are no specific requirements or actions that a landlord must take regarding a leased property in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. However, the law does set forth the procedures that must be followed before a tenant can move due to a major repair problem.
If the property needs repair, the tenant must serve the landlord with written notice of that fact. The landlord will have at least 20 days to make the repairs. During that time, the tenant can withhold the rent that is due for the next rental periods until the repairs have been completed. The lease agreement may specify a different time period to be given for the landlord to make repairs or maintenance.
After the landlord has completed the repairs, the tenant shall pay the amount of rent that is due. If the repairs are not completed within the agreed-upon time, the time allowed may be extended. The agreement to extend the time for the repairs must be in writing. Tenants don’t have to agree to a time extension and may elect to move. In this circumstance, the tenant will not incur any liability for future rent or charges under the lease.