We collected and reviewed the best free Florida residential lease agreement templates from around the web (see table below). Additionally, read further for information about required state disclosures, optional addendums and more.
All of the below residential lease agreement templates have been vetted to make sure they 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.
Caution: USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. These may not be up to date for 2019 and are not attorney-vetted for all legally required details & protection specific to your unit(s). See details below table.
|Organization||Year Created||# of Pages||File Format||Link|
|Miami Dade County||N/A||7||Click Here|
|Florida Bar||2018||10||Click Here|
|Florida Realtors||N/A||19||Click Here|
“Should I even use a free lease agreement template?”
If you are a tenant simply looking to formalize your renting relationship, the above options will suffice. If you are a landlord, we seriously caution the use of free “one size fits all” templates due to the opportunity cost of an incorrect or incomplete lease agreement (think: premature lease breaking, fines for non-disclosures, etc.).
With that said, unless you’re renting out 100+ units, you probably don’t need to spend a few hundred dollars of an attorney’s time to get one drafted. A few different law startups have created step-by-step legal document wizards that take 5-10 minutes, and only run you ~$30 for a lease agreement (or a few bucks a month for access to all document templates you’d need). After reviewing the best available, we liked LegalTemplates.net the best. You can find their Florida residential lease agreement template by clicking “Create Document” below.
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
The sections that follow are necessary elements to a residential lease, and are universal in residential lease agreements in all states, not just Florida.
1. The “Who”: Identification of Involved Parties
The first portion of the lease agreement should contain the names of (1) the landlord and (2) ALL tenants renting the property (that are over 18).
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”).
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).
2. The “Where”: Address of Property
The complete address of the rental property and the county where it is located must be listed on the lease agreement.
For landlords in the state of Florida, you’re also required to list your own address somewhere on the lease for where tenants can send notices/demands to. Read more about this below in our state-required disclosures section.
3. The “When”: Terms and Limits of Occupancy
The next 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.
4. The “How Much”: 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.
Beyond rent, the landlord has the right to require the tenant to pay for garbage removal, water, fuel, or utilities.
Note: in Florida, the security deposit shall not exceed twice the amount of the monthly rent.
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
- Pet Addendum
- Marijuana Use Policy
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.
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.
Florida Security Deposit Law
The tenant is not allowed to use the security deposit as payment of rent during the term of 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 from the security deposit and the amount. The written statement shall be sent to the tenant at their forwarding address. If no forwarding address was provided, the notice should be mailed to the address of the subject rental property.
If the tenant doesn’t agree to the landlord’s claim, he or she may file a complaint with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) to object to the landlord’s right to the security deposit. The tenant has 15 days to file the written objection.
If the tenant doesn’t object in writing, the landlord may deduct the amount of the claim filed from the deposit. The balance of the rent deposit shall be returned to the tenant within 30 days after the date of the notice of the claim for damages.
If the tenant still owes rent, the landlord can pay for the property to be cleaned and damages resulting from unusual wear and tear to be repaired with the security deposit.
If the tenant allows other persons not on the lease to occupy the property, an additional deposit can be charged. If the tenant has a guest who remains on the property for at least 14 cumulative days without the landlord’s permission, the tenant is in violation of the lease agreement.
Landlord Responsibilities in Florida: Maintenance, Alterations, and Repairs
Whenever a landlord rents property, it must meet all the local building, state, and health codes.
The building’s structure, such as the roof, walls, floor, and foundation, must be in good condition. The plumbing must be in reasonable working condition. Windows must have screens that are installed in good condition. If the screens become damaged, the landlord is responsible for their repair.
The property should be treated for the extermination of ants, roaches, mice, rats, bedbugs, and wood-destroying organisms. If the extermination requires the tenant to vacate the property, the landlord shall abate the rent for that period required. The tenant can be required to vacate the premises for no more than four days, upon written notice from the landlord.
Other responsibilities of the landlord include security, cleanliness, the safety of the property, and garbage removal to include outside receptacles.
The landlord must ensure that the property has functioning heat, running water, and hot water.
The property must have working smoke detectors unless otherwise agreed in writing at the beginning of the tenant’s occupancy. A smoke detector may be electrical or battery-operated.
The landlord is not responsible for repairing the damage caused by a tenant’s or any other person’s negligent action. The tenant shall maintain the property in a manner in compliance with all building, housing, and health codes. The property must be kept clean and sanitary. The plumbing fixtures must be kept clean, sanitary, and in good repair.
The tenants must take reasonable care of electrical appliances, plumbing, heating ventilation, and air-conditioning systems.
The tenant shall be liable for any damage or destruction to the property, or damage caused by anyone else.
The tenants shall not conduct themselves in a manner that creates a disturbance for their neighbors or perform any action that constitutes a breach of the peace.
Access to Property/Notice of Entry in Florida
Whenever a landlord needs to gain access to the property for maintenance or any other reason where there is no emergency, a 24-hour notice must be given to the tenants. If access to the property is because of a move-out inspection, the landlord shall provide the tenants with a forty-eight-hour notice.
The landlord may periodically enter the property for inspection, repairs, alterations, decorations, or improvements. They may also conduct agreed upon services or show the property to potential tenants or persons interested in purchasing the property. The tenant shall make a reasonable effort to accommodate a landlord’s request to enter the property.
The landlord has a right to enter the property at any time for the protection or preservation of the premises.
Upon providing reasonable notice to the tenants, the landlord can go into the property for maintenance and make repairs. A “reasonable notice” for repairs is at least 12 hours before the entry. A reasonable time to enter the property shall be between 7 o’clock in the morning and 8 o’clock in the evening.
The landlord may go into the rented property when necessary under any of the following conditions:
- With the tenant’s permission;
- In the event of an emergency;
- If the tenant’s refusal to allow entry is unreasonable; or
- If the tenant is away from the premises for a period equal to one-half the time for periodic rental payments.
If the rent is not late, and the tenant informs the landlord of their intent to be away from the property, the landlord must have the tenant’s permission to go into the property. Absent the tenant’s permission, entry may be made only to protect or preserve the premises.
A landlord shall not abuse the right of access nor use it to harass the tenant.
If a tenant fails to maintain the property, follow the rental agreement (except for failure to pay rent), or follow reasonable rules or regulations, the landlord may provide written notification of intent to terminate the lease agreement. Examples of such noncompliance include, but are not limited to, activities in violation of the lease agreement, such as keeping or permitting unauthorized pets or guests to have access to the property.
If the tenant hasn’t taken corrective action within 7 days from the receipt of a written notice, the landlord can terminate the rental agreement.
Without going through the process of a legal eviction, the landlord cannot remove the tenant’s personal property from the premises. If the tenant surrenders the property, the landlord may take possession of the property.
Upon proper notice, the lease agreement may be terminated by either party. The landlord’s intention to terminate or renew the lease must be provided to the tenant in writing. The tenant must also notify the landlord of whether they intend to terminate or renew the lease agreement.
How much notice do you have to give for termination? That depends on the period length outlined in the lease.
- 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.
Termination of Lease Agreement by a Servicemember
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 shall be permitted to be released from the lease agreement. This also applies to service members who are discharged from active duty. If a person was not eligible for military housing at the beginning of the lease period, but later becomes eligible for government housing shall be allowed to break their lease agreement.
The service member must provide the landlord with written notice of their intent to terminate the lease and a copy of their military orders or other written verification. The written verification must be signed by their military commander. These documents should be sent to the landlord via certified return receipt. The service member should also keep a copy of everything sent to the landlord. This process should be done even if the landlord doesn’t require it. If the service member follows the correct procedures, they are not responsible for the rent or damages because of the early termination of the lease.
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. For example, 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.