Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartment Rental Agreement Florida

June 6, 2012

Linda asks…

Can someone tell me the rental law in Florida for breaking a lease agreement?

I signed a lease agreement with an apartment complex. They told me should I vacate at any point prior to my lease ending that I must pay the lease out to the end of the contract or find someone to rent my apartment to avoid this from happening. However I talked to another complexes staff who told this is completely against a new Florida law that went into affect after Charlie Crist became governor. They said the most anyone can now charge is 2 months rent to break the lease and thats it. Can someone tell me who is correct? What is the current Florida law regarding terminated lease agreements? Thank you.

Administrator answers:

The Florida Legislature updated the state’s 34-year-old rental laws on an almost unanimous vote, allowing landlords the ability to levy thousands of dollars in penalties against renters who break their leasing agreements.

How was the rental law before this?

A landlord or real estate investor renting a property to tenant could only charge a renter who breaks the lease for the time required to get a new tenant for the home. Overlapping payments weren’t allowed, a practice known as “double rent”.

How have the rental laws changed?

Tenants are now culpable who not only leave before their lease term is over but also those who do not give a 60-day written notice that they will not be renewing their lease. These new changes will now allow landlords in Florida to collect thousands of dollars in penalties from their previous tenant even if they have a tenant lined up and ready to move into the property immediately.

How much would a renter who breaks their lease have to pay?

The penalty is equal to two month’s rent. The renter may also face additional expenses equal to another month to pay back any concessions offered. These concessions may include a free month originally given by a landlord as an incentive to sign a lease.~

John asks…

I am about to buy a home, can I break my current rental agreement?

Hello all, thanks for reading/answering. I currently live in a small apartment in Palm Beach County, Florida. I have 6 months left on my second lease with an apartment complex. My husband and I are about to buy a home, and are strapped for cash. We paid a deposit when moving into our apartment. Is there any way that we can break our lease with our apartment complex because we are buying a home? I am Ok with losing our deposit, but I don’t want to have to pay any more. Are there any legal steps we can take to not have to pay the 2 months rent that they want if we break the lease?

Also, the home we are buying is in another county.


Administrator answers:

I would check on your leasing/rental contract. Most have clauses that will let the renter out of a lease if they have proof they are moving because of a new job/job transfer, certain family tragedies, etc. There may also be a written 30-day notice clause where you can give a written 30-day notice to inform them of breaking the lease, but I am pretty sure you would still have to pay for the those thirty days and the month before/after. If you are just moving to be moving, then you probably won’t be able to get out of the lease. The same thing happened to me and my wife about 4 years ago. We moved out of the apartment and into our new house with about 2 months left on our lease. Luckily, we had a rental office that was willing to work with us, and we ended up having to pay only one month and a carpet cleaning bill.
You may also wish to consider sub-letting your apartment to a trustworthy friend. I know the rental office won’t care who is paying them as long as they are getting paid. Good luck!

Donna asks…

How do you rent an apartment in Miami?

I’m seriously considering moving to Florida but since I’m going to be new in that State I really don’t if it’s a little different from New Jersey. Here in Jersey it is really easy, you just talk to the home owner and pay a monthly rent, there isn’t a rental agreement or something like that. Can you also rent an apartment in Miami with ease just like in Jersey?
And the home owner doesn’t ask you if you are working or things like that (in jersey), is it the same in Miami?

Administrator answers:

Actually, the no rental agreement depends on the individual owner. ANY smart owner in ANY state WILL want some sort of contract in writing. As for the working part, AGAIN that is up to the individual landlord. Smart ones WILL want to know that you can reasonable afford the house you are renting. What you have experienced is NOT a statewide practice….anywhere!!

Jenny asks…

What happens to the lease when a property management company drops the owner as a client in Florida?

I was just informed that my property management company is canceling their contract with the owner of my apartment. What does this mean for the rental agreement since it refers specifically to the property management company as the landlord? Apparently the owner has not been paying them. At the same time I received a notice that my water is going to be shut off because the owner is not paying the home owner’s association fees.

Administrator answers:

It is almost certain that your rental agreement will still be in force. Most rental agreements would have a provision stating that the agreement is binding on successors in interest, etc.

As a practical matter, my advice to you would be:
1. Make sure you have the rent on the day that it is due, but don’t give it to anyone. Just hold it in a safe place (where you won’t touch it) until you are contacted by someone who says you should be paying it to them. This contact could be a phone call, a letter, a “Notice to Pay Rent or Quit,” or some other form of communication. At that point you can start verifying if the person or entity is legitimate. In a safe place where you won’t touch it Resist the urge to spend the rent on some other pressing financial need, especially if this goes on for more than a month, which is very possible. If more than a month goes by before you have been contacted, add the next month’s rent to the rent you are holding.

2. Look at your rental agreement to see who is responsible for paying the association fee. If the rental agreement says the landlord is responsible for paying it, you would probably be safe to pay the required amount from the rent you are holding, so that the water stays on.

Lizzie asks…

Can landlord enter my apartment at will. i live in florida and I refuse to pay anymore rent, im not on a lease

im not on a written lease or anything just verbal, when i moved in me and my landlord had a verbal agreement on rental terms such as direct tv (cable t.v.) and all electric is included in the rent well i got a call from my landlord sayin that he cant afford the cable anymore and i had to get it in my own name and pay for it myself. therefore im refusing to pay anymore rent, and he calls me all day, but my main questions are do i have any rights since we on on no sort of written lease, and i work from home can the landlord shut off the power? or walk in to the dweeling while im working or sleeping? and if he does have to give me notice to come in do i have to say its ok for him to come in b/c like i said i work from home and i cant have him comming in and distracting me. WHAT ARE MY OVERALL RIGHTS???? he doesnt even know my name or ssn or anything, i never signed anything.
im gonna just let him evict me but i need to know my rights

Administrator answers:

Then you need to move. No written agreement and you have no legal footing.

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