The Florida residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a binding document used to formalize an agreement between a landlord and tenant to rent real property in exchange for a fee. This contract is governed by Florida’s landlord-tenant law and includes terms and conditions outlining the responsibilities of each party.
Florida Lease Agreement Disclosures
The below disclosures are required for some or all residential lease agreements in Florida.
Landlord’s Name & Address
Applicable to all rental units in Florida.
Creates a line of communication for important notices and demands between tenant and landlord. Landlords or any authorized individual to act on behalf of the property should provide contact information (including their address) within or alongside the lease. This information should be provided to the tenant on or before the commencement of tenancy.
Dangers of Radon Gas
Applicable to all rental units in Florida.
All rental agreements are required to include a general disclaimer about the dangers of high levels of radon gas. This gas is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that may cause health issues if a person is exposed overtime.
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
Applicable to rental units managed by landlords with five or more individual dwelling units in Florida.
If a landlord asks for a security deposit, they must provide a written disclosure of how those security deposit funds will be kept. Additionally, landlords must provide general information about security deposits and how they work in Florida. This disclosure has a number of legal requirements, that shall include the following information:
- State the name and address of the depository where the amounts are held (or state the landlord has posted a surety bond as provided by law);
- State whether the tenant is entitled to interest on the deposit; and
- Shall contain the below language:
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 disclosure may be provided to the tenant separately and must be sent within 30 days of receipt of the tenant’s advanced rent payment plus the security deposit.
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.
It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in Florida to:
- Fill out and attach this lead-based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead-based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)
The below lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Florida law. These disclosures can be helpful to include to help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
|Optional Disclosure||How the Disclosure is Helpful|
|Asbestos||This disclosure informs tenants if there is asbestos at the property. If there is asbestos a tenant can take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers.|
|Bed Bugs||If the rental unit has a history of infestation, landlords should provide information on how to handle a bed bug infestation. This disclosure notifies the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention and immediately report any sign of infestation to the landlord.|
|Late/Returned Check Fees||Landlords should disclose if they will charge a late fee or a returned check fee in the lease agreement. In Florida, there are no limits on late fees. Returned checks with a balance owed of less than $50 may be charged with a $25 fee. If the balance is between $50 and $300, the maximum service fee is $30. If the balance exceeds $300, the returned check fee is $40 or 5% of the balance, whichever is greater.|
|Medical Marijuana Use||Inform tenants if medical marijuana use on the property is permittable. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.|
|Mold Disclosure||Informing the tenant of the current mold status of a property protects the landlord against future liability of mold damages.|
|Move-in Checklist||A move-in checklist holds the tenant accountable for future damages that they may cause.|
|Non-Refundable Fees||A non-refundable charge must be written in the lease agreement. If a non-refundable charge is not written in the lease, the tenant may be subject to a refund upon termination of the lease.|
|Shared Utilities Arrangements||For rental units with shared utilities, a landlord should disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated. Providing this information to tenants will give them a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.|
|Smoking||Inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.|
Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures
Disclosures outline the important health, safety, and property information and vary by state. If a landlord does not provide the tenant with the federally or state-mandated disclosures, they could face legal repercussions or monetary penalties.
If a landlord fails to disclose the lead-based paint hazard disclosure, they can face fines of up to $18,364 per violation. (24 CFR § 30.65)
It’s best to check with your local and state laws on which disclosures you must provide to your tenant.