A lease or rental agreement is a contract between the landlord and the tenant which outlines the terms to which each have agreed. Even though a lease or rental agreement is not required, a lease & rental agreement is highly recommended since it can protect both the landlord and the tenant from later misunderstandings and ambiguities.
Both the Landlord and the Tenant are better protected if they have a lease in place prior to entering into an agreement to rent the property. The lease will provide the basis for the lease terms that will insure the rights and obligations of both the Landlord and the Tenant.
Below is an example of several terms that can be included in a lease that are generally not provided in law that will benefit both the Landlord and Tenant.
- Monthly rental price, first and last payment terms and specific date for lease payments as well as any penalty for late payments.
- Amount of security deposit and the ability to apply the security deposit to outstanding rent which is normally not allowed by law
- Allowance or Prohibition of pets
- Breach of contract provisions including the right to claim damages, attorneys fees, jurisdiction, or other recovery provisions
- Repairs for minor/major items in the unit and Landlord’s requirement of condition upon the return of the property upon the expiration of the lease
- Options to extend the terms of lease
- The inclusion of acceleration clause that allows a Landlord to recover the outstanding rent for the remaining term of the lease in addition to the unpaid months in case of a breach of contract
The use of an attorney for the negotiation and review of a commercial lease prior to entering into an agreement is money well spent. The commercial lease is typically prewritten by the Landlord and tends to favor its interests. The commercial lease may contain acceleration clauses for rent which will obligate the tenant for payment of rents through the lease term. If for example, the lease has a five (5) year term and the business is forced to close in the second (2) year, the tenant would be forced to pay the remaining three (3) years regardless of whether the business is able to stay in business. To make it worse, most new business owners who are leasing commercial property are required to personally guarantee the lease which means that they are obligated to pay personally when the business defaults.
Lease or rental agreements can help both parties by outlining the rights and obligations of the tenant and landlord. Our attorneys at Gonzalez & Rodriguez, P.L. can help draft and finalize your lease or rental agreement to ensure your rights are protected as well as interpret your rights for your existing lease.
Eviction is the removal of a tenant from a property for nonpayment of rent or violation of lease or rental agreement. This process begins with an eviction notice that can either be a 3-Day Eviction Notice for Nonpayment of Rent and a 7-Day Eviction Notice for Noncompliance with the terms of the lease & rental agreement. 15-Day Notice is required on a month-to-month tenancy, where the landlord may serve it 15 days before the rent is due. If the tenant refuses to vacate the property, the landlord must file and serve an Eviction Summons and Complaint for Possession and Monies owed. The tenant would then have five days to file an answer to the claim for possession and 20 days to the claim for damages. Once a landlord is granted possession of the property by the court, the clerk of courts will issue a writ of possession which is provided to the sheriff to conduct the eviction of the tenant. Once this writ is served, the tenant has 24 hours to vacate the property or they will be removed by the sheriff. It is also important to have a locksmith present and bonded movers to assist with entry into the unit and control of tenant’s personal property.
Return of Security Deposits
In Florida, there is no limit on how much a landlord can charge a tenant for a security deposit. However, there is a limit on the amount of days the landlord must return the deposit. The landlord has 15 days to return the security deposit once the tenant turns over possession of the property. If the landlord wishes to oppose a claim they have 30 days to send the tenant a notice of intent to make a claim against the security deposit. If you believe you are entitled to make a claim against the security deposit, contact us to make sure you are compensated for the money you are entitled to.
Both tenants and landlords have various rights which they may sue upon if infringed upon. Some of the following rights tenants and landlords hold are the following:
- Tenant Rights
- Right to be free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, familiar status, and disability (and LGBT or marital status for the state of Florida)
- Right to a service animal even with a “no pets” policy
- Right to a habitable home
- Right to a home free of lead poisoning
- Right to a certain level of privacy
- Landlord Rights
- Right to evict a tenant
- Right to sue for damages to the property
Contact Our Coral Gables Professional Attorneys
To discuss your case with one of our experienced lawyers in an initial consultation, call us toll free at 305-461-4880 or contact us online.
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