Florida Residential Rental Agreements
When it comes to defending a contested eviction lawsuit in county
civil court, a well written Florida residential rental agreement, is a landlord’s best defense. And that’s exactly why; you should never use one of those generic boilerplate rental agreements that are available for sale, on the Internet. First off, ninety-nine percent of all standard rental agreements
don't comply with the Florida Statutes. Secondly, they do little or nothing, to
protect the rights of Florida landlords, against sue-happy tenants and predatory
plaintiffs’ attorneys. You must use a residential rental agreement that's:
1. In full compliance with the Florida Statutes.
2. Fully enforceable in county civil court.
3. Protects your rights as a landlord.
Four Clauses Required to be in Residential Rental Agreements
The following four clauses are required by Florida Statutes, to be in all residential rental agreements:
1. Section 83.49(3)(a) of the Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, requires that all rental agreements include the following clause:
This is a notice of my intention to impose a claim for damages in the amount of _____ upon your security deposit, due to _____. It is sent to you as required by s. 83.49(3), Florida Statutes. You are hereby notified that you must object in writing to this deduction from your security deposit within 15 days from the time you receive this notice or I will be authorized to deduct my claim from your security deposit. Your objection must be sent to (landlord's address).
2. Section 83.595(4) of the Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, requires that all rental agreements include the following clause:
[ ] I agree, as provided in the rental agreement, to pay $_____ (an amount that does not exceed 2 months' rent) as liquidated damages or an early termination fee if I elect to terminate the rental agreement, and the landlord waives the right to seek additional rent beyond the month in which the landlord retakes possession.
[ ] I do not agree to liquidated damages or an early termination fee, and I acknowledge that the landlord may seek damages as provided by law.
3. Section 83.67(5) of the Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, requires that all rental agreements include the following clause:
BY SIGNING THIS RENTAL AGREEMENT, THE TENANT AGREES THAT UPON SURRENDER, ABANDONMENT, OR RECOVERY OF POSSESSION OF THE DWELLING UNIT DUE TO THE DEATH OF THE LAST REMAINING TENANT, AS PROVIDED BY CHAPTER 83, FLORIDA STATUTES, THE LANDLORD SHALL NOT BE LIABLE OR RESPONSIBLE FOR STORAGE OR DISPOSITION OF THE TENANT'S PERSONAL PROPERTY.
4. Section 404.056(5) of the Florida Statutes, requires that all rental agreements include the following clause:
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 public health unit.
In chapter fourteen of The Florida Landlord's Manual, you'll learn exactly what must be included in your rental agreement, to make it fully enforceable in county civil court in Florida. This user-friendly manual comes complete with a Florida residential rental agreement, in Microsoft Word format, that you can download for FREE!