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When you are leasing your property out to someone, it is important that you have your tenants sign a lease or rental agreement in order to protect yourself. It is equally important to ensure that all terms and obligations (as well as the rights of both the landlord and the tenant) are clearly laid out within the lease. However, state law under the Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act, always overrides the contract. That is why it is in your best interest as the landlord to familiarize yourself with the Florida Landlord Tenant Laws in order to be sure that your lease doesn’t contradict what the state law says. Additionally, there are certain laws that you should always follow as a landlord. 

Always Perform Background Checks

One of the most important things to do prior to leasing out your property is to conduct a background check on anyone who is planning on signing the lease. This not only provides security for you in that you know who you are renting to, but also protects your neighbors – especially if they share the same building.

Collect Deposits Prior to the Signing of the Lease

Once a background check has been conducted and the applicant passes your requirements, you should collect the deposit prior to the actual lease signing. The amount to be deposited should be clearly stated in the terms of the lease. This money should not be intermixed with any other money and the landlord is required to disclose to the tenant where it is located and whether or not the account bears interest. 

Once the duration of the lease is up, the landlord is then required to return that deposit to the tenant unless he or she has legal reason not to. If this is the case, the landlord is obligated to provide a written notice including the details for why the tenant is not receiving the deposit. This notice must be given to the tenant within 30 days of the end of the lease. 

Rental Payments and Lease Termination 

You should always ensure that all payments are made on time, though you should also provide a reasonable period of time for late payments to be accepted. A tenant is not allowed to withhold his or her payment due to the landlord’s failure to keep the property clean and safe – unless he or she has obtained court approval.

If a landlord elects to evict a tenant due to a breach of the agreement (e.g. late or missed payments), the landlord is obligated to file a complaint with the courts. He or she has no alternative course of action. 

The Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Herzog, P.A. Helps Those with Real Estate Issues

If you or a loved one currently has or foresees any real estate issues, such as those with landlord-tenant agreements, it is very important that you consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Florida real estate attorney. He or she will be able to walk you through the Florida Landlord Tenant Laws to ensure that your lease agreement is in compliance with it. 

At the Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Herzog, P.A., we share what is needed in order for both parties to enter into a legal agreement and work hard to ensure that your rights are protected. To learn more about real estate law, or to schedule a consultation, visit us online, or call us at 727-209-4524 today!