A lease agreement is a document that establishes a legal relationship between a landlord and a tenant. The agreement must expressly identify each party’s rights and obligations under the agreement, leaving no room for vague or imprecise terms.
In this article, you will find out why the assistance of an expert lawyer is crucial to creating a well-drafted lease agreement in Florida.
Florida Lease Agreement Lawyer – Is it Possible to Use Generic Forms to Create a Valid Lease Agreement?
Currently, many residential landlords in Florida use generic forms found online to create lease agreements. While these forms cover the minimum requirements for a valid lease agreement, they lack the accurate language to protect the rights of the parties involved and avoid potential disputes in the future.
Florida Lease Agreement Lawyer – Is the Document Legally Binding?
Generally, lease agreements tend to favor landlords, as they often set up the document’s terms to protect their own interests. Before signing a lease agreement, tenants must review the document and ensure it is legally enforceable.
The best approach is to work with an expert attorney to draft a lease agreement favoring neither of the parties involved.
Why is an Attorney Crucial to Draft a Proper Lease Agreement in Florida?
Security Deposit Clauses
If not properly included in a lease agreement, security deposits may result in disputes between landlords and tenants.
Unlike other states, Florida law does not limit the number of security deposits required by landlords. However, landlords avoid charging an unreasonable number of security deposits, as it precludes prospective tenants from leasing the property.
An experienced attorney can help landlords to identify the right amount of security deposit, ensuring the amount is expressly stated in the agreement to avoid future liability.
Detailing the Rent Rate
When drafting a lease agreement, a well-versed attorney will make sure to detail all the terms associated with rent. Imprecise terms may create confusion, directly affecting payments and creating further problems. An adequate lease agreement must provide:
- The amount of rent
- The frequency of payments (i.e., weekly, monthly, etc.)
- The due date for payments
- The payment methods accepted by the landlord
- What happens if the due date is on a weekend or a legal holiday?
- What happens if the tenant fails to pay the due amount on time?
- The existence of late fees
- Whether the landlord may grant a grace period
Tailoring the Agreement According to the Property
Every property is unique. Hence, the best way to avoid future disputes is to draft a unique lease agreement to cover any issues that may affect a specific property. An expert attorney may create a solid lease agreement specifying:
- Which party is responsible for utilities? (i.e., electricity, gas, water, sewer, etc.)
- Which party is responsible for trash collection?
- Which party is responsible for internet or other cable utilities?
- Must the landlord provide a security/alarm system?
- Does the property require lawn care?
- Which party is responsible for lawn care?
- Is there a penalty for a tenant’s failure to provide lawn care?
- Will the tenant pay for a gardener to take care of the property’s garden?
- Are there solar panels on the property?
- If yes, who is responsible for maintenance?
Early Lease Termination Clause
A tenant may eventually need to leave a rental unit earlier. Every lease agreement in Florida must include an early termination clause to determine the renter’s responsibilities, the provision of timely early notice, the early termination fees, and other specified terms.