Lease agreements are legally binding documents that define the responsibilities of the landlord and tenant. It includes important information that tenants need to know when before into a rental property, including details about the security deposit and present health risks that they could be exposed to.
Suppose you are a new Florida landlord and have never drawn up a lease agreement for a commercial or residential property in Florida. In that case, we'll give you all the information you need to ensure that your rental contract follows federal and state guidelines.
The Florida rental lease agreement is a legal contract used when two parties trade rights to utilize a rental property or unit. Both the landlord and the tenant must agree on the essential conditions of the contract, such as the rental price, security deposit, and lease period.
Certain clauses might be included in the agreement to modify the agreement to meet the demands of both parties. After the document has been drafted, the tenant should properly examine it before signing it.
Types of Leases
There are a number of different lease agreements that you can use in Florida. We'll take a brief look at some of them in the section below.
1. Standard Residential Lease Agreement
This basic agreement includes all the fundamentals that landlords and tenants need to take note of. It will also include the lease term.
2. Florida Sublease Agreement
Sometimes tenants may want to lease the property to someone else. If the landlord approves, all the parties involved will have to sign a sublease agreement.
3. Monthly Agreements
These contracts are similar in structure to standard lease agreements. However, they differ according to the lease period. Monthly agreements are often used before renewing a rental contract.
4. Florida Commercial Lease Agreement
Commercial lease agreements are contracts signed between a landlord or property owner and the tenant, which in this case is a business owner renting a commercial space.
What to Include
In order for a rental agreement to be considered complete, it must include certain important information. Here's what you'll need to include in your residential rental agreements:
- The names, contact details, and addresses of all parties involved
- Rental price as well as when the tenant will have to pay rent every month
- Information about the security deposit and how it will be maintained and returned
- Warranty of habitability and repairs - landlords are required by law to ensure that the property is habitable and that all repairs are conducted in a reasonable time frame
- The conditions for evictions and termination of the agreement
You can download free Florida rental agreements from eForm. We've listed links to the documents below. Simply click on the link to begin the download.
Here are some of the things you are required to disclose in your rental agreement:
Lead-based Paint Disclosure
All properties built before 1978 may contain hazardous lead-based paint, and landlords must disclose this information before the lease signing. You will have to include the following elements in your lease agreement:
- Records or reports of the hazard
- Information about this hazard from the Environmental Protection Agency
- A completed lead-based paint disclosure form
This must be included in Florida lease agreements if the landlord owns five or more rental units. If a landlord demands that a security deposit be paid, he or she must offer a written notice of how the money will be handled while the tenant is occupying the rental unit.
The landlord will also have to provide general information about how security deposits work in Florida.
According to state law, there is no maximum amount that can be charged and deposits must be returned within 15 days after a tenant vacated the unit. The following information must be included concerning security deposits:
- Information about the depository where the money will be held
- Whether the tenant will receive interest accrued on the deposit
- Legislation concerning the security deposit
Radon Gas Disclosure
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that, after adequate amounts have accumulated in a house, can represent a health danger to those who have been exposed to it for a long time.
Properties in Florida have radon levels that surpass state and federal restrictions. The county health department can provide more data on radon gas and radon gas testing.
A broad statement concerning the risks associated with exposure to high amounts of radon gas is necessary for all rental contracts.
Build Your Own
If these generic forms don't give you the freedom to include all the details you want in your Florida residential lease agreement, you can create your own.
One way to do this is to use the eForms agreement generation tool. Simply enter the information you need to include and build your own agreement!
Suppose you want your tenant to sign this form electronically? And maybe you want a tenant portal where they can submit maintenance requests and pay rent online?
In that case, you can use DoorLoop's property management software designed specifically for landlords and property managers. You can turn your form into a reusable template, have it auto-fill all the tenants information and send it for eSignature.
If you need to find a new tenant, you can even market your property on Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, Apartments.com, and more. The best part is, there’s no more paper applications! Your tenants can fill out their rental application online, and you can even run background checks on them covering criminal, credit, and eviction reports powered by TransUnion.
To get a closer look at DoorLoop, learn more or schedule a free demo.
Creating detailed lease agreements is all part of the job when running a rental business, so if it's your first time drawing one up, it is a good idea to use a software solution like DoorLoop to streamline the process!
Do I Have to Have an Attorney Draw Up My Rental Lease Agreements?
No, you do not need an attorney when drawing up a rental contract. However, if there is a breach of the contract, you can engage an attorney to help you fight for your rights as a landlord. Keep in mind that there are attorney fees payable if you choose to go this route.
What Makes Lease Contracts Legally Binding?
The truth is that rental contracts are not considered legal documents until they are signed by both the lessor and the lessee (landlord and tenant).
Does a Florida Lease Signing Require Witnesses?
Witness signatures are no longer required for residential and business leases as of July 1, 2020. Previously, witnesses had to be present for a lease signing of an agreement with a lease term of one year or more.However, the modified Florida Statutes Section 689.01 eliminates the need for a landlord's signature to be verified by two witnesses.