Tenant’s Rights: Know What Should be in your Residential and Commercial Leases

When renting or leasing a space, you, as the tenant, as well as your landlord each maintain certain rights and responsibilities. Many of these are spelled out in the lease agreement, but not all of them may be. Before signing any kind of lease, it’s important to carefully read the full terms and ask questions if you don’t understand something.

Below are a few important details to look for in your lease.

Things to Look for in Your Lease in Florida

Property condition and details
The lease should cover basic details about the property, including lease length terms, address, date, and the landlord’s name and contact information as well as policies for rent increases, subleasing, renewal, and others. It should also be noted if the unit is furnished or includes any appliances.

As the tenant, you should also do your own due diligence by documenting any and all pre-existing damage in the unit before signing the lease. Make an itemized list of problem items and take photos and video of any damage you see prior to moving in. Having good records will come in handy, especially if there is a dispute down the road.

Rent and fees

Your actual rent payment may be just one part of the monthly fees you are responsible for as a tenant. If there are other fees for things like parking, pets, or utilities, these should be spelled out in the lease too, along with when payment is due, methods of acceptable payment, any grace period for late payment, and the amount of those late fees. Additionally, be sure you understand the terms of the security deposit and how and when you will get your money back.

Repairs and Maintenance

Your landlord is required by law to provide livable conditions such as fully functional plumbing and electricity. Other repairs may be the tenant’s responsibility. Consult a lawyer who is well-versed in Florida law to help you decipher the lease terms and understand what is required to be handled by the landlord and what you may be responsible for maintaining.

Occupancy/Property Rules

It’s common for leases to include rules regarding acceptable use of the property. This may include things like quiet hours, overnight guests, smoking, maximum occupancy, parking, storage, insurance requirements, and more.

Early Lease Termination

When you sign a lease, you generally commit to inhabiting the property for a certain length of time, but sometimes circumstances change and you’ll need to terminate the lease early. Understand things like how many months notice you need to provide, what the cleaning policies are, and if there will be any penalties for early termination.

As a tenant, it’s important to know your responsibilities and your rights, and this also means being sure to carefully read your lease. If you have questions or need legal counsel on an issues related to your lease or rental property, get in touch with us today at 305-735-3966. At Silverberg | Brito, PLLC, we offer free case evaluations and work closely with you to ensure your tenant rights are protected and any disputes are resolved equitably.

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