Residential lease forms can be “landlord friendly” instead of being fair or tenant-friendly. The difference between a free Florida lease online and a landlord-friendly lease can be significant when it comes time to enforce your rights as a landlord. Many of our landlord clients, after completing an eviction, realize that their rights would have been greater had they used a landlord-friendly lease instead of the free lease forms provided by several websites in Florida.
It is not simple to customize a lease that is landlord-friendly. Many of our clients think that as long as something is in the written lease, then it applies. That’s wrong. Courts reject written terms of leases when they are illegal or against public policy. It’s also possible the change the terms of the lease through altered course of dealings. The key is to draft a landlord-friendly lease within the bounds provided by Florida law.
We provide low-cost Florida landlord-friendly lease forms to purchase. In addition, we can fully customize a lease for your specific needs for a flat fee. Contact us or call (407) 444-0404.
Here are some of the most common questions about Florida leases that we’ve reviewed.
Can a lease waive a requirement that a landlord go through the eviction process?
No. Section 83.47(1)(a) of the Florida Statues states that “a provision in a rental agreement is void and unenforceable to the extent that it purports to waive or preclude the rights, remedies, or requirements set forth in this part.” Any provision in a residential rental agreement that appears to waive the tenant’s right to the eviction process is against public policy and is unenforceable.
Can lease terms unilaterally be changed in the middle of a tenancy?
No. However, in a month-to-month lease, each month acts as a separate tenancy, or rental period. For month-to-month leases, as long as proper notice is given, lease terms can be changed. Payment and acceptance of rent could mean acceptance of changed terms.
Can the written lease state any amount of late fees?
No. A court will not uphold excessive late fees. In one case, a written lease charged a late fee of $10 per day for late payment of rent, plus $10 per day for non-payment of utilities. Even though the utilities late payment was in the written lease, the Court ruled that the utilities late payment provision was unconscionable and just an attempt for the landlord to get a lot of late payment money.
What’s the maximum term of residential lease?
There is none. In practice, the longest terms are typically 99 years.
Are there any landlord friendly terms we should put in our lease?
Landlords can absolutely make their leases more friendly to them than to their tenants. If you’d like to use our leases to make sure they are friendly to you as a landlord, let us know. You should also review more information about evictions in Orlando.