Lease Preparation Law in Florida

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Lease Preparation Law in Florida

Leases and other rental agreements in the state of Florida need to conform with the law. If a lease does not meet the legal standards that are set out by the state, it can lead to trouble if there is a dispute between the landlord and the lessee. These agreements should always be in writing as well so that there is no confusion if an issue crops up.

Many people who own rental properties in the state of Florida attempt to create their own lease documents using standardized forms they find online. While this might work in some cases, these generic documents often do not cover all of the necessary details of a lease in this state. Working with a skilled legal team is critical when it comes to crafting a lease document that will hold up in a court of law.

The team at Lopez Law Group can help clients to craft lease documents that are thorough and comprehensive. We can also offer guidance to help with the lease preparation process for those who have never had to navigate this process before.

How Long Can Leases Last?

One of the first questions that many people have when they are planning to lease a property is how long the lease can last. Any lease agreement that is in excess of a year has to be committed to writing. Most lease agreements last a year at a time, but there are other ways to structure your lease agreement. You might elect to have the lease renewed every few months or every six months, depending on your plans for the property.

Annual leases should be renewed each year by the agreement of both parties involved in the lease. You can elect to write your lease in such a way that the lease is considered to be auto-renewed if the tenant does not give notice to break the lease. This can save both you and your long-term tenant time each year.

No lease should ever be done via oral arrangement only. This only leads to confusion if there are disagreements about the lease period or the details of the lease. It can also cause major complications if the tenant or the landlord wishes to break the lease. Documenting these agreements in writing makes them clear for all concerned, and this process also makes a document that can be brought to court if there is a dispute between landlord and lessee.

At the end of the day, the terms and duration of your lease agreements are up to you. Many rental companies offer various lease terms for the same property, which can allow renters to move in and stay for a set period of time that suits their plans.

Are Lease Agreements Binding in the State of Florida?

Lease agreements are considered to be legally binding once the document is signed by both parties. There are various ways that either party can break a lease early, but these considerations do not negate the legality of the lease. Ending a lease that has been properly structured will require that either party follow the letter of the law. This allows the tenant time to move out without being hassled, and it also allows the owner of the property to evict someone who has become a problem or who has broken the lease agreement.

Leases that are carefully documented with the help of a skilled legal professional are much less likely to be broken by errors on the part of the landlord. There are instances where a lease that is too generic might not cover specific situations that you could find yourself in as the person renting out a property. Avoiding these common pitfalls is easy when you have a legal expert craft your lease documents.

Those who are looking to lease in the state of Florida might also want to have the support of a skilled legal team to ensure that the lease that they are signing is correct and legal. It is never a good idea to sign a lease document if you think that some of the language that is included in it is not legally accurate or fair to you as a lessee.

Lease Preparation Law in Florida

Do Lease Contracts Automatically Expire?

Yes, leases can automatically expire. The language of your contract will typically indicate that the tenant needs to renew the lease, or it is considered to be expired. This can be an area where there is a lot of confusion on the part of tenants. This is why a clause needs to be written into any lease that will automatically expire, warning the tenant that this is the case and explaining the steps that must be taken to renew the lease.

While you might choose to continue to allow the tenant to stay in the residence and sign a new lease after the current one lapses, you will also be able to change the price of the lease and alter the details of the agreement as the existing lease has now ended. These rights are protected under Florida law, and tenants needs to be aware that allowing their current lease to expire could change the nature of their leasing agreement in the future.

Landlords are under no obligation to continue to lease the property in question to a tenant who has allowed their lease to lapse. If the tenant is not welcomed by the landlord to renew their lease, they will need to move out of the property in question. This can lead to additional legal wrangling, but having a lease document in place that guides this process clearly will make a big impact on the difficulty of removing a tenant who has allowed their lease to lapse.

Having a skilled legal team working on your side as a landlord can make these kinds of conflicts much less difficult to resolve. When you have chosen to have an authoritative and correctly drafted contract drawn up for your lease, you will be in a position to easily defend your rights as a property owner. There are so many reasons that having a skilled lawyer working on your lease documents and leasing issues can save you time and frustration. Avoiding going to court with former tenants can also save you money.

How a Skilled Legal Team Can Help With Lease Preparation

Each kind of lease has its own set of considerations and stipulations that need to be included in the lease documentation. When you work with a legal team to help you prepare to lease a property, you will be able to be certain that your lease agreement is airtight. You will also be given guidance about the right way to prepare a property for those who are going to lease the property.

You might not want to allow the renters to bring in other tenants without adding these people to the lease. You might also want to make sure that everyone who is on the rental agreement has signed off on the details of the lease. Handshake deals are a bad idea, and making up your own rules for the lease that you are putting in place is also not allowed in the state of Florida.

Your lawyer can ensure that both parties are aware of the requirements of the lease, and they will also make sure to maintain your contract as changes happen with legal requirements in the state of Florida. Having a skilled expert working on this kind of documentation can be a big help to make sure that you do not miss important changes to the law, which could negatively impact your ability to lease properties that you want to use as rentals.

Your lawyer will be able to do the following:

  •         Meet with you to discuss the details that you would like to include in the lease and to discuss concerns that you might have about the lease of each particular property that you want to rent. These meetings help your lawyer to be certain about the goals that you have for the property and the kind of management that you are hoping to have in place during the term of each lease.
  •         Prepare lease documentation that will cover all of the discussed details and be compliant with Florida state law. The lease agreement will detail how the lease can be broken, what things will need to happen for a tenant to give notice, and the reasons that the landlord can break the lease. All of this information needs to meet the letter of the law, which is why it is key to have a legal expert draft up these documents.
  •         Your lawyer will also be able to help you create the documents that you might need to use to give notice to a renter about issues that might impact their ability to remain on the property. Things like garbage in the yard, a lack of maintenance of the property, and noise violations might all require that notice be served to the renter to inform them that they are taking actions that break the agreement of the lease.
  •         Your lawyer can verify that the signed lease documents that have been collected from renters are complete and accurate. This can be done each time someone moves in or out of a property to ensure that there will not be any problems related to the ongoing lease agreement once the person has moved into the property.

When there are disputes about the lease or issues come up that might require that the current tenant be moved out of the home, your lawyer can help with this process as well. Florida law details the entire eviction and removal process, and landlords must follow the letter of the law precisely to be able to evict a tenant efficiently.

You, as the landlord, cannot go onto the property and change the locks or remove the tenant’s possessions until the proper legal process has been followed. Your lawyer will be able to advise you about the right steps to take and will tackle all of the various legal processes that need to be completed before you can evict someone.

Lease Preparation Law in Florida

Do You Need to Do A Walk-Through With Prospective Tenants?

Landlords often wonder if a walk-through is a good idea before renters move into a property that they are going to be renting. This can be a great way to make sure that you and the tenant have a chance to discuss any preexisting damage and to agree on the terms of the lease. Having conversations in person with renters about the details of a lease can be ideal to avoid issues that might crop up down the road.

You will also be able to clearly explain the expected deposit and other details of the lease that need to be handled before lease documents can be signed during the walk-through. Many rental property owners have a rental company tackle this kind of task, and your lawyer can help advise everyone involved about the right ways to make sure that the renter is properly notified about the details of their lease.

Going over the lease paperwork in person and making certain that all the right information is collected from the lessee is key to securing a binding lease agreement. If any steps are missed along the way, the lease might be invalid, which can lead to problems for both parties later on.

Make sure that your rental agreement covers what happens to the paid deposit for the property in question. This deposit is almost never refundable, even if the tenant decides not to move in after all. Many people believe that they can ask for this money back, but it is often used to cover the cost of the tour of the property and any cleaning and preparation that was done to make the property ready for new renters.

These kinds of details need to be clearly called out in the lease and should also be verbally explained to potential renters in person if possible. The more clarity that everyone involved in the process has about how the lease is to be conducted, the better off everyone will be in the long run.

Can Tenants Sublet or Move in Friends?

Most rental properties do not allow anyone to be living on the property who is not named on the lease. Subletting is also typically not allowed because it can cause major issues for a landlord trying to move out someone who has taken over the rent for a few months. These kinds of tenants can become problems when they refuse to leave, even though they are not named on the lease agreement.

There are specific laws that govern moving out someone who has taken up residence who is not named in the lease documents. As in other forms of eviction, landlords cannot change the locks or remove someone’s items from the property without following legal protocol. This applies even if the person in residence was not given permission to move into the property by the landlord.

Your lawyer can help you to remove a tenant’s friend or someone who has moved in without permission. This process does not take as long as a regular eviction, but there are steps that need to be taken to remove someone who is not a legal renter. Your lawyer at Lopez Law can help you to remove someone from the property who moved in with family or a significant other and were never named on the lease documents.

Making sure that you have a skilled expert to conduct your lease preparation can ensure that this kind of situation is covered in your lease documents as well. Being clear about the expectations with regard to additional people living on the property can help to argue your side of any case that goes to court. While the hearings that are used to sue for eviction and to secure an ejectment can be handled by landlords without the support of a lawyer, it is often much easier to seek a favorable outcome in these cases with the help of a legal professional on your side.

Lease Preparation Law in Florida

Having a Skilled Lawyer Work on Your Lease Preparation is Ideal

If you have not ever leased out a property before, you might be feeling confused about all of the things that need to be done to ensure that your lease is handled correctly. From preparing the lease contract, to helping represent you if there are issues with your renters, a skilled lawyer can make leasing out a property a snap.

If you are ready to prepare to lease a property, the team at Lopez Law can help! Schedule a consultation today so that we can go over your goals for the lease prep process and start working on the documentation and education about the lease process that you need. We have years of experience supporting the needs of Florida landlords and can help you lease your property the right way.


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