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Things to know about Florida property lease laws

Across the country, there are numerous individuals in the rental property game. This can be a great investment, or it can be a reasonable way to maintain payments on a space that cannot yet be sold. As is true for every state, Florida has very specific property lease laws that owners need to be aware of before drafting rental contracts.

There are a variety of things that generally need to be included in a lease agreement. Some of these include a security deposit amount, contract length, rent amount and any other provisions one may need for his or her specific property type. Security deposits are most certainly a good thing to set, and in Florida there are no limits as to the amount that a security deposit can be, unless a tenant is protected by either the federal or state Fair Housing Act. Some other important facts about security deposits include that a property owner is required to tell a tenant within 30 days how his or her deposit will be held until the completion of the rental agreement; furthermore, they must disclose that a deposit is to be returned to a tenant no later that 15 days after the end of the contract term.

Something else that may be important to review before placing a residential or commercial space up for rent is the state discrimination laws. What exactly does this mean? Property owners are prohibited from refusing to rent, denying services, lying about rental availability and a variety of other things based upon certain factors such as a person's gender, race, religion or disability.

While these are just a few things that are specific to the property lease laws in Florida, there are many other items of importance that landlords will need to consider in order to protect themselves and their investments. A real estate attorney may prove to be a valuable commodity when it comes to drafting rental agreements. Seeking legal guidance before signing contracts with tenants can ensure proper protections are put in place and that the agreements made are fair and legally binding.

Source: FindLaw, "Florida Leases and Rental Agreements Laws", Accessed on July 30, 2015

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