A Florida lease agreement is a contract made between the landlord (lessor) and the tenant (lessee). The contract’s main purpose is to regulate each party’s rights and obligations.
Parties are free to insert any clause in the lease agreement that is not explicitly forbidden by federal and state law. Lease agreements in Florida are regulated by Florida landlord-tenant law. This law provides the clauses and disclosures that must be included in every lease agreement in Florida.
A lease agreement is an important document because:
Reasons to Use a Lease Agreement
It prevents both parties from having any misunderstanding about their rights and duties.
The parties can protect their rights before the relevant authorities based on the lease agreement.
The landlord can include all of the disclosures in the lease agreement and limit his liability for any security or health hazards.
Florida Lease Agreement Required Disclosures
If you are renting a property in the state of Florida, you must include these mandatory disclosures within your lease agreement to remain compliant with the federal and state laws:
Lead-based paint disclosure. Federal law provides that the landlord must inform the tenant about the presence of any lead-based paint. This disclosure must be included in the lease agreement for any property built before 1978.
Landlord information disclosure. Florida state law provides the obligation of the landlord or a person representing the landlord to include his name and the address in the lease agreement. (§ 83.50)
Radon gas disclosure. According to Florida Statutes § 404.56(5), every lease agreement in Florida shall include the following disclosure:
“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 disclosure. If the landlord is renting more than five rental units, they must include the following disclosure in his lease agreements in case they requires a security deposit (§ 83.49):
“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.”
Florida Lease Agreement Optional Disclosures
Other than required disclosures, you are not obliged to include any other disclosures to your lease agreement. However, you can add optional disclosures to the lease agreement for extra protection, such as:
Asbestos disclosure. This disclosure should be included for every leased unit built before 1981. It should contain information about any asbestos hazards present on the property.
Move-in form. It should include a list of all the items on the property. The landlord and the tenant shall sign the form to confirm the number and condition of each listed item. This will prevent or help with any damage claims after the lease term is over.
Consequences of Non-Disclosure
The landlord who fails to make the proper lead-based paint disclosures can be held liable for up to $19,507, according to 24 CFR § 30.65.
Additionally, the tenant can initiate a civil lawsuit for any damages caused by the landlord's non-disclosure of safety and health hazards.
Florida Lease Agreement Security Deposits
Security Deposit Maximum
In Florida, there is no maximum limit for the security deposit.
Security Deposit Return
If there is no unpaid rent or damage done to the property, the landlord must return the deposit within 15 days of the lease termination.
However, if the landlord needs to deduct money from the deposit, they must send a statement to the tenant with an itemized list of deductions no later than 30 days after the lease ends.
Lastly, the tenant then has 15 days to raise any objections to the deductions made.
When is Rent Due in Florida? (Grace Period)
In Florida, the rent is due on the date provided in the lease agreement. This is usually the first day of the month for long-term lease agreements. (§ 83.49)
There is no grace period provided by Florida law.
If the rent is late, the landlord must send a 3-day pay or quit notice to the tenant before starting the eviction process.
Florida Rent Late Fees
State laws don’t set the top limit for the late rent fees, but according to the Florida statutes, § 83.45, any “unconscionable” clause in the lease agreement may not be enforceable.
That being said, if any late fees are provided, they shall be written in the lease agreement.
Florida NSF Checks
If the tenant uses a worthless check to pay the rent, the landlord has the right to charge additional fees. Check the table for more information:
Value of the Check
$50 or less
$50 - $300
$40 or $5 of the check’s total value
Florida Landlord’s Right to Enter
The landlord must give a 24-hour notice before entering the leased property.
The landlord can enter the leased property only at reasonable times, between 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. The landlord has the right to enter the property at any time to protect or preserve it. (§ 83.53)
Florida Lease Agreement FAQ
Yes, lease agreements are legally binding documents in Florida. For a written lease agreement in Florida to be legally binding, it has to be signed by both the landlord and the tenant.
As of July 1, 2020, Florida state law no longer requires witnesses when a lease agreement is signed.
Most lease agreements in Florida include the following clauses:
Names and information of the landlord and tenant
Details about the rental unit
Term of the lease and the possibility of extending it
Rent amount, methods of payment, security deposit, and late fees
Rights and obligations of the landlord and tenant
Health and safety disclosures
Date and place of lease agreement signing
On our website, you can find templates for all the most common lease agreements used in Florida.
Depending on the lease term and type of the lease, you can choose between:
Fixed-term or month-to-month lease agreement
Commercial or residential lease agreement
Room rental lease agreement
Rent-to-own lease agreement
After getting the final draft of your lease agreement, you should:
Ensure each contractual party gets at least one copy of the lease agreement.
Sign all copies of the lease agreement and have other parties sign them.
Notarize the lease agreement (optional).
Have the landlord and the tenant inspect the property before moving in.
Have the landlord and the tenant sign the move-in form.
Have the tenant pay the security deposit and the rent.
Have the landlord hand over the keys to the tenant.