How Long Can A Residential Lease Be In Florida? – An Overview
Considering the post-pandemic scenario and the number of people moving to the Sunshine State seeking peace of mind and mild weather year-round, Florida has one of the fastest-growing rental markets nationwide.
In this context, everyone must have at least a basic knowledge of how a residential lease should be. The first negotiation points in a lease agreement are the lease term and rent.
Ultimately, how long can a residential lease be in Florida? Keep reading to find out.
In Florida, there is no specific time limit to a residential lease agreement. Both oral and written lease agreements are considered legal and enforceable. Still, any lease agreement that exceeds one year must be in writing.
Ideally, no lease contract should be an oral agreement, especially considering the issues it could generate in the future. Before entering a lease, the best approach is to sit down with an expert lease attorney to prepare a well-drafted contract.
In most cases, landlords in Florida tend to follow the standard length for lease agreements, which is generally one year. Nonetheless, the length of a lease contract may last longer if the landlord and tenant comply with the legal requirements.
Preparing a Residential Lease in Florida – Is a Lease Agreement Binding?
Any contract to lease signed in Florida is legally binding, considering it was drafted and signed in full compliance with the legal requirements. Until June 2020, a written lease agreement should be signed in the presence of two witnesses to be legally binding.
Nonetheless, a bill signed by Governor Ron DeSantis on July 1, 2020, waived the requirement of witnesses’ signatures for residential and commercial leases.
The new provision amended Florida Statute §689.01, removing the section that required that a landlord’s signature on a lease agreement should be witnessed by two subscribing witnesses in lease contracts longer than a year.
Additionally, Florida lease agreements do not need to be notarized, although some landlords may prefer to get a lease notarized. Yet, notarizing a lease agreement is not a requirement to make the document legally binding – no matter the length of the contract.
Preparing a Residential Lease in Florida – Is it Possible to Automatically Renew a Lease?
It is possible to add a provision in a lease agreement to automatically renew the contract once the original term of the lease expires. This way, the landlord and tenant can continue the lease without signing a new contract.
Yet, if there is no provision in the lease stating otherwise, the contract is assumed to be terminated on expiration. It is worth noting that a tenant can continue to legally occupy the rental premises if the landlord continues to accept rent payments after expiration.
Preparing a Residential Lease in Florida – Why It is Crucial to Seek Professional Guidance
It is fundamental to seek guidance from an expert lease attorney before signing a contract to lease in Florida. Although landlords tend to utilize standardized forms, the best approach is to have a lease agreement drafted by a legal expert.
A Florida lease attorney will prevent lawsuits by avoiding handshake deals and eliminating vague or subjective language in contracts. Plus, a legal advisor will guarantee each party is aware of their duties and rights while ensuring full legal compliance with state law.
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