Breaking a Lease in Florida | đź“ť What you Need to Know [2022]

Last Updated: July 18, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza Find out when a tenant can legally break a lease in Florida, when they can’t, and if a landlord is required by Florida law to make reasonable effort to re-rent. Before we address the legally acceptable reasons to get out a lease early without penalty, it’s important…



Last Updated:

July 18, 2022

by

Elizabeth Souza

Find out when a tenant can legally break a lease in Florida, when they can’t, and if a landlord is required by Florida law to make reasonable effort to re-rent.

Before we address the legally acceptable reasons to get out a lease early without penalty, it’s important to understand the notice requirements in Florida to end a tenancy in general.

Contents

Lease Termination Notice Requirements in Florida

In Florida, a tenant is required to provide notice for the following lease terms (Fla. Stat. 83.57):

  • Notice to terminate a week-to-week lease. Not less than 7 days prior to the end of any weekly period. 
  • Notice to terminate a month-to-month lease. Not less than 15 days prior to the end of any monthly period.
  • Notice to terminate a quarter-to-quarter lease. Not less than 30 days prior to the end of any quarterly period.
  • Notice to terminate a yearly lease. Not less than 60 days prior to the end of any annual period.

Delivering Notice in Florida

Notice shall be served by the following methods:

  • Hand delivery.
  • Mail a copy of the notice via regular mail, certified mail or registered mail.
  • Leave the notice in a conspicuous place (i.e., on the front door of the premises).

There are a handful of scenarios where a tenant can legally break a lease in Florida without penalty. We’ll go through each of them below.

Questions? To chat with a Florida landlord tenant attorney, click here

1. Early Termination Clause

Some modern lease agreements may provide specific terms that would allow a tenant to terminate a lease early in exchange for a penalty fee. Read over the lease and look for language that outlines agreed-upon terms for ending the lease before the end of the fixed period, such as the amount of the fee (i.e., equal to 2 month’s rent) and the amount of notice required (i.e., 30 days).

If a lease agreement contains an early termination clause, before executing it and paying the penalty fee, read further to learn about other conditions that, if met, would not require a penalty fee to be paid.

2. Active Military Duty

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) helps protect active service members who are relocated due to deployment or permanent change of station. The protection begins on the date of entering duty and ends between 30-90 days after the date of discharge.

To break a lease in accordance with the relief act, a tenant must:

  • Prove the lease was signed before entering active duty.
  • Prove they will remain on active duty for at least the next 90 days.
  • Deliver a written notice to the landlord (example, page 2), accompanied by a copy of the orders to deploy / Permanent Change of Station (PCS) or a letter from their commanding officer stating their pending deployment.

With that said, the lease does not terminate immediately. Once the notice is delivered, the earliest the lease can terminate is 30 days after the beginning of the next rent period. For example, if the notice was delivered on the 23rd of March, and the rent is due on the 1st of each month, the earliest the lease can terminate is May 1st therefore, rent is still due for the month of April.

note

In Florida, the term “servicemember” means a member of the armed forces, commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and the activated National Guard.

3. Unit is Uninhabitable

Most states have specific health and safety codes that provide minimum standards for rental units, and Florida is no different.

If those standards are not met, proper notice is given by the tenant and the repairs/fixes are still not made within the allowable time period, a tenant would be considered “constructively evicted”. As a result, the obligations of the tenant under the lease are no longer required, given that the landlord has not met their own responsibilities under the Florida landlord-tenant law. According to Florida state law, landlord duties to provide habitable premises include the following (Fla. Stat. 83.51):

The landlord at all times during the tenancy shall:

  • Comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes.
  • Where there are no applicable building, housing, or health codes, maintain the roofs, windows, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads and the plumbing in reasonable working condition.
  • Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the landlord shall, at all times during the tenancy, make reasonable provisions for:
    • The extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants, wood-destroying organisms, and bedbugs. When vacation of the premises is required for such extermination, the landlord is not liable for damages but shall abate the rent. The tenant must temporarily vacate the premises for a period of time not to exceed 4 days, on 7 days’ written notice, if necessary, for extermination pursuant to this subparagraph.
    • Locks and keys.
    • The clean and safe condition of common areas.
    • Garbage removal and outside receptacles therefor.
    • Functioning facilities for heat during winter, running water, and hot water.
  • Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the landlord shall install working smoke detection devices. As used in this paragraph, the term “smoke detection device” means an electrical or battery-operated device which detects visible or invisible particles of combustion and which is listed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., Factory Mutual Laboratories, Inc., or any other nationally recognized testing laboratory using nationally accepted testing standards.

For more information on Florida habitability laws, click here.

4. Landlord Harassment or Privacy Violation

If the action is serious enough, harassment by a landlord or their violation of a tenant’s privacy may be enough justification for relieving a tenant of their obligations of the lease.

  • Landlord Entry. Florida state law requires that a landlord provide 12 hours notice unless otherwise agreed upon, in the case of an emergency, a tenant unreasonably withholds consent or the tenant is absent form the premises for a period of time  ((Fla. Stat. 83.53(2)). If the landlord repeatedly violates a tenant’s rights to privacy or does removes windows or doors, turns off utilities, or changes the locks, a tenant would be considered “constructively evicted,” as described above.
  • Changing the locks. In Florida, a landlord cannot lock out a tenant.

5. Violation of Lease Agreement

If a landlord violates the terms of the lease agreement, it may be enough justification to break the lease and relieve the tenant from their own obligations (i.e., illegally raising the rent during the fixed period). Because each lease agreement is different, carefully read over the duties and requirements for both parties to understand if a violation has been made, and if there is language describing how certain violations are to be handled.

In Florida, if a landlord includes an unconscionable provision in the rental agreement (Fla. Stat. 83.45):

  • If the court as a matter of law finds a rental agreement or any provision of a rental agreement to have been unconscionable at the time it was made, the court may refuse to enforce the rental agreement, enforce the remainder of the rental agreement without the unconscionable provision, or so limit the application of any unconscionable provision as to avoid any unconscionable result.

6. Other Reasons 

A tenant may have alternative reasons to terminate a lease early.  For example, the following reasons may legally permit a tenant to terminate the lease early, but are not always automatic and must be determined by a court:

  • Domestic Violence. Many states protect tenants who are victims of domestic violence such as early termination rights. If a tenant is in a domestic violence situation and want to move, check with local law enforcement regarding laws that may apply in domestic violence situations.
  • Illegal or Unenforceable Contract. In some scenarios, a lease agreement may be deemed illegal and as a result, is generally not enforceable. (i.e. contracting with a minor)
  • Mandatory Disclosures. Many state and local laws require landlords to disclose documentation, policies, or specific unit information to tenants prior to moving in. Disclosure laws typically impose heavy fines or legal ramifications to landlords if they are not followed. In rare cases, they contain penalty provisions that may allow you to break your lease.
  • Senior Citizen or Health Issue. Some states offer age or health-related lease-breaking arrangements that permit early lease termination.  If a tenant has a qualified disability the tenant may request early termination as a reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Questions? To chat with a Florida landlord tenant attorney, click here

Examples of Insufficient Justification for Lease Breaking in Florida

The below reasons are generally not enough justification (on their own) to release a tenant from the obligation of their lease term, and as a result, provide no legal protection against penalties for not honoring the lease.

  • They bought a house.
  • They are relocating for a new job or school.
  • They are upgrading or downgrading.
  • They are moving in with a partner.
  • They are moving to be closer to family.

Breaking a lease for any of the above reasons without court approval or in any conditions not previously outlined can have tangible consequences for tenants.  If a tenant would like to break a lease for any of these reasons, the tenant should ask the landlord to agree to a mutual termination.

note

Florida state law does not require landlords to make a reasonable effort to find a new tenant.

Tenant’s Right to Sublet in Florida

If the lease does not prohibit subletting, then a tenant may be in the clear to do so. However, the lease might contain a clause requiring a tenant to obtain the landlord’s approval prior to subletting. To get landlord approval, send them a letter through certified mail, with a return receipt requested, outlining the terms of the sublet lease agreement. Certified mail is the only proof of delivery that most courts will accept if proof is needed that a tenant has notified the landlord.

The letter should include the following information:

  • Sublet term.
  • Name of proposed subtenant or assignee.
  • The permanent home address of proposed subtenant or assignee.
  • Your reason for subletting or leaving permanently.
  • Your new address during the sublease if applicable.
  • The written consent of any co‑tenant.
  • A copy of the proposed sublease.

If a landlord rejects the tenant’s request, know that they can only refuse the proposed subtenant based on legitimate factors. The law says landlords cannot unreasonably refuse to sublet.

For more information and to get a FREE Florida sublease agreement click here.

Additional Resources for Florida Tenants & Landlords:

FAQs

What are legal reasons to break a lease in Florida?

You may be able to legally move out before the lease term ends in the following situations.

  • You Are Starting Active Military Duty. …
  • The Rental Unit Is Unsafe or Violates Florida Health or Safety Codes. …
  • Your Landlord Harasses You or Violates Your Privacy Rights.

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How can I get out of my lease early in Florida?

In most instances, breaking lease agreements usually requires the tenants to pay about 2 to 3 months’ rent or forfeit their security deposit. You can negotiate the termination fees with the landlord with the intention to have him/her reduce the fees and return your deposit.

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Does breaking a lease hurt your credit in Florida?

If you pay all outstanding charges before moving, including any back rent and fees, breaking a lease won’t hurt your credit score. However, breaking a lease can damage your credit if it results in unpaid debt

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Can I terminate my lease in Florida?

Under the updated Florida Statutes 83.595, the landlord can execute a condition in the lease to provide an early termination offer to the tenant. The amount should be limited to two months of the required rent. Additionally, the tenant must send in a 60-day notice

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Can you terminate a lease early?

There’s a Built-in Termination Clause

Check the paperwork you signed. It’s possible that the lease included the ability to leave early under conditions specified by the lessor. For example, a tenant may be able to pay an early termination fee (usually two months’ rent) and get out of the deal.

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Can landlord keep security deposit for breaking lease in Florida?

Landlords have 30 days from the termination of the lease to notify the tenant in writing of their intention to keep a portion of the tenant’s security deposit. If the landlord fails to notify the tenant in writing within 30 days, the landlord forfeits the right to keep any portion of the security deposit.

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Can I leave my apartment before my contract ends?

Can a tenant leave the property before the agreement ends? A tenant can, of course, leave the property if they wish, by writing to the landlord and giving appropriate notice of their intention to leave.

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How do you tell your landlord you’re moving out?

You should say something like: ?I am giving 1 month’s notice to end my tenancy, as required by law. I will be leaving the property on (date xxxxx). I would like you to be at the property on the day I move out to check the premises and for me to return the keys.

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Will I lose my deposit if I move out early?

There is a strong chance that they will lose their security deposit and there is a likelihood that the landlord may take legal action against them or against any guarantor provided by the tenant to ensure that the tenant is ordered to pay the rent for the period the property was vacant.

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On what grounds can a landlord keep your deposit?

Your landlord or agent is only entitled to keep all or part of your deposit if they can show that they have lost out financially because of your actions, for example, if you have caused damage to the property or you owe rent.

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What is early termination fee?

An early termination fee is a charge levied when a party wants to break the term of an agreement or long-term contract. They are stipulated in the contract or agreement itself, and provide an incentive for the party subject to them to abide by the agreement.

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How much notice do I have to give my landlord?

You’ll need to give 1 months’ notice if you pay rent each month. If you have another arrangement, then you’ll need to match your notice period to how often you pay rent. For example, if you pay rent every 3 months, you’ll need to give 3 months’ notice before moving out.

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Can a landlord charge you for cleaning after you move out?

The short answer is no. In fact, according to the Tenant Fees Act 2019, a landlord cannot legally charge tenants for end of tenancy cleaning services. If you are a landlord and you charge your tenants with a cleaning fee, you will face a fine of at least ÂŁ5,000.

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Can landlord deduct deposit for cleaning?

What Can a Landlord Deduct From a Security Deposit for Cleaning and Repairs? In most states and jurisdictions, security deposit laws allow a landlord to deduct from a security deposit for any damage or excessive dirtiness, but not for any expected, normal wear-and-tear.

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Florida Rental Laws On Breaking A Lease

Breaking A Lease In Florida A lease often lasts for a fixed term, which is typically a year from signing the lease agreement. After the lease term ends, you must either; Move out of the premises Renew the lease with the same or different terms Continue living on a month-to-month lease agreement, in your Florida rental. Once you sign a lease, you are committing to a full term stay. Nonetheless, if circumstances change and you want to move out before the end of the fixed term, you may break your lease. For example, you may move out early if you become sick and need to be moved to a health facility, or if you have gotten married or divorced. However, specific Florida rental laws have been put in place regarding breaking a lease. IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A PROFESSIONAL PROPERTY MANAGER CONTACT US Prior to the changes of Florida Statutes 83.595, the Florida Law was clear. It stated that if a tenant chose to break a lease by moving out before the end of the lease, the landlord had to accept the tenants choice. It also stated that although the tenant had left the premises they were still obliged to continue to pay the monthly rent unit the end of the lease’s term. The law also explained that the landlord was allowed to charge rent until the rental had been rented out again. This method created challenges for landlords, like having to chase tenants down in order to get the monthly rent payments. The renters would be long gone and subsequently, their landlords would begin re-leasing efforts and charge the tenants for the vacant months. Under the new law however, during the signing of the lease, the landlord may choose to offer the renter the opportunity to lock-in a lease-breaking/early termination fee. Under the conditions that the fee is no more than twice the required monthly rent, and that the tenant submits no less than a 60 days’ notice. And of course, all of this must be provided in the Florida lease agreement. This fee is known as “Liquidated” or “preset” damages. It is collected in case the landlord doesn’t find a new renter within the two months of the original lease breaking. This fee is given to the landlord to help cover his or her losses. The landlord must present this option to the tenant at the time of signing the lease. The tenant can then decide whether they want to accept it or not. If the tenant refuses to accept, the law states that he/she should not be denied rental on this basis. A Tenant’s Right to Breaking a Lease in Florida There are various reasons why you may choose to break your lease. However, as serious as some of these reasons might be, you may still be required to pay the remaining rent or the termination fee. The Florida Landlord-Tenant Law only allows four main reasons for breaking a lease before the end of the fixed term. They include; A Call to Military Service One reason might be if you enter the active military service as part of the uniformed services. The uniformed services consist of the armed forces, commissioned corps of Public Health Service, commissioned corps of the national Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, and the activated National Guard. In this case, the federal law allows you to break a lease. However, you must submit a handwritten Florida lease termination notice stating your reason for breaking the lease. Your tenancy will reach an end, 30 days after your rent is next due. If the Rental Premises is Unsafe or Violates Florida Health/Safety Codes You can break a lease under Florida Statutes Landlord-Tenant Law 83. 60. Law 83.60 focuses on the landlord’s ability to provide a habitable rental premise, under the local and state housing codes. These codes govern…

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Overview of Breaking a Lease in Florida

Overview of Breaking a Lease in Florida Breaking a lease may be one of the most important things for a landlord in the rental property business to be knowledgeable about. For a number of reasons, you might find some of your tenants breaking their leases. Some reasons are beyond your control, such as marriage, divorce, or work relocation. While these are valid reasons, there are still state laws in place to protect the landlord when a tenant breaks their lease. This article focuses on the relevant laws in Florida for when a tenant breaks a lease. There are legal components that govern when breaking a lease is sanctioned and acceptable. There are also instances when tenants are liable to pay penalties when they break it for an unlawful reason. Florida Statutes 83.595 Under the updated Florida Statutes 83.595, the landlord can execute a condition in the lease to provide an early termination offer to the tenant. The amount should be limited to two months of the required rent. Additionally, the tenant must send in a 60-day notice. It is important to state all of this in your Pensacola, Florida lease agreement. The early termination fee is legally referred to as liquidated or preset damages. This helps the landlord cover his losses for the two months after the lease is broken. Before signing the lease, the landlord may offer this option to the tenant. However, Florida laws allow tenants to decline this offer without the threat of negative consequences to their rental approval. Conditions Where Tenants Can Legally Break Their Lease in Florida Tenants are allowed to break a lease without penalty in Pensacola, Florida, as long as these situations are met: 1. Active military duty When a tenant is an active service member, it is common to be deployed and relocated to various places. They are protected by the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and the protection starts on the date of entering duty and ends within 30–90 days of their discharge date. To break the lease, an active service member must satisfy the following: Submit a written notice to the landlord in Pensacola, Florida, with an attached copy of the deployment orders or a letter from the commanding officer that states the pending date of deployment.A Tenant must provide evidence that they will be on active duty for a minimum of 90 days.A Tenant must prove that the lease was signed before he entered active military duty. The end of a tenancy is still subject to 30 days before the rent is due. For example, if a tenant gave notice on the 20th of October and the rent is typically due on the first of the month, the lease will terminate on December 1st. The tenant is still liable to pay for November’s rent. 2. Uninhabitable rental unit/Violation of Florida health code Under Florida’s Landlord-Tenant Law 83.60, landlords are responsible for providing habitable housing, which includes sufficient hot water, heat, and locks. If proper standards are not met and landlords fail to fix/repair a tenant’s submitted maintenance concern, the tenant is considered constructively evicted. Landlords are given sufficient time for repairs and maintenance. However, if they fail to take action within the prescribed time accorded to them, tenants can legally break the lease. Tenants are permitted to not pay for termination fees in this case and can move to a new property even before the end of the lease term. 3. Invasion of privacy by a landlord Landlords must refrain from harassing the tenants or invading their privacy. The Florida Law (83.53) stipulates there must be a period of 12 hours’ notice prior to entering the property. Otherwise, the tenant has a right to break the lease.Landlords must not engage in unethical behaviors, such as removing doors or windows or changing the locks of the property without a tenant’s approval.In Pensacola, Florida, a landlord is also not authorized to lock out a tenant. Ways for a Tenant to Break a Lease and Minimize Liability Look for a friend or another tenant they can transfer the lease to.Initiate an honest discussion with the landlord as early…

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Breaking a Lease in Florida | What you Need to Know [2022]

Breaking a Lease in Florida | đź“ť What you Need to Know [2022] Usually when someone signs a lease, they do not intend to need or want to break it before the agreed upon time is up. However, unexpected circumstances arise in which peoples’ plans change and they need to terminate their leases. It could be that the current living conditions aren’t up to the agreed upon standards, you want to move in with a roommate or partner, or a job change causes you to need to leave your current rental. The big worry is that breaking a lease in Florida will cause you to lose a lot of money. Florida is somewhat strict about early lease terminations, but there are always ways to work it out! No matter what your circumstances may be, our guide has everything you can expect with respect to getting out of a Florida lease without penalty. Florida Lease Laws – Tenant Rights and Responsibilities When Signing a Lease in Florida Let’s look at what a Florida rental agreement actually is. A residential lease is defined as a binding contract between a landlord and tenant. Traditional leases are “fixed-term,” meaning the dates of occupancy are spelled out in the agreement. Fixed-term leases are traditionally one year, but they can be any period of time that the two parties agree upon. There are also “periodic tenancy” leases that have no set end date. Month-to-month is the most common periodic tenancy lease. Leases agreements in Florida define both the tenant’s and landlord’s responsibilities, and Florida lease laws under Florida Statute Title IV, Chapter 83, Part II states that the landlord is not allowed to change the terms of the lease, increase the rent, or evict the tenant for no cause. There are plenty of reasons a landlord can evict a tenant. If you do not pay your rent, commit an illegal act, or violate the terms of your lease, they are within their rights to evict you with written notice. If you have failed to pay your rent, the landlord must give you 3 days’ notice to pay or vacate. For a lease violation, you may receive a “7 day notice to cure,” meaning you must correct the violation. If you do not, the landlord can proceed with eviction filings. In extreme circumstances, landlords can issue “7 day unconditional quit notices,” in which the tenant does not have the option to fix the situation. The tenant must leave within 7 days or the landlord will file an eviction lawsuit. You can view more of Florida renters rights when breaking lease here. What Happens if You Break a Lease in Florida Lots of people want or need to move before their leases are up. Maybe you got a job in a new city, or are moving back to your hometown to be closer to family. Maybe you want to upgrade to a different location, or want to try out living with a roommate. Whatever the reason, you will need to weigh the financial risks and determine the best move. It should be noted that most states require landlords to mitigate losses by finding a new tenant quickly. However, that’s not the case in Florida. Landlords are not required to…

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All Reasons for Breaking a Lease in Florida (Without Penalty)

All Reasons for Breaking a Lease in Florida (Without Penalty) Last Updated: July 18, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza Find out when a tenant can legally break a lease in Florida, when they can’t, and if a landlord is required by Florida law to make reasonable effort to re-rent. Before we address the legally acceptable reasons to get out a lease early without penalty, it’s important to understand the notice requirements in Florida to end a tenancy in general. Lease Termination Notice Requirements in Florida In Florida, a tenant is required to provide notice for the following lease terms (Fla. Stat. 83.57): Notice to terminate a week-to-week lease. Not less than 7 days prior to the end of any weekly period.  Notice to terminate a month-to-month lease. Not less than 15 days prior to the end of any monthly period. Notice to terminate a quarter-to-quarter lease. Not less than 30 days prior to the end of any quarterly period. Notice to terminate a yearly lease. Not less than 60 days prior to the end of any annual period. Delivering Notice in Florida Notice shall be served by the following methods: Hand delivery. Mail a copy of the notice via regular mail, certified mail or registered mail. Leave the notice in a conspicuous place (i.e., on the front door of the premises). Conditions for Legally Breaking a Lease in Florida There are a handful of scenarios where a tenant can legally break a lease in Florida without penalty. We’ll go through each of them below. Questions? To chat with a Florida landlord tenant attorney, click here 1. Early Termination Clause Some modern lease agreements may provide specific terms that would allow a tenant to terminate a lease early in exchange for a penalty fee. Read over the lease and look for language that outlines agreed-upon terms for ending the lease before the end of the fixed period, such as the amount of the fee (i.e., equal to 2 month’s rent) and the amount of notice required (i.e., 30 days). If a lease agreement contains an early termination clause, before executing it and paying the penalty fee, read further to learn about other conditions that, if met, would not require a penalty fee to be paid. 2. Active Military Duty The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) helps protect active service members who are relocated due to deployment or permanent change of station. The protection begins on the date of entering duty and ends between 30-90 days after the date of discharge. To break a lease in accordance with the relief act, a tenant must: Prove the lease was signed before entering active duty. Prove they will remain on active duty for at least the next 90 days. Deliver a written notice to the landlord (example, page 2), accompanied by a copy of the orders to deploy / Permanent Change of Station (PCS) or a letter from their commanding officer stating their pending deployment. With that said, the lease does not terminate immediately. Once the notice is delivered, the earliest the lease can terminate is 30 days after the beginning of the next rent period. For example, if the notice was delivered on the 23rd of March, and the rent is due on the 1st of each month, the earliest the lease can terminate is May 1st therefore, rent is still due for the month of April. note In Florida, the term “servicemember” means a member of the armed forces, commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and the activated National Guard. 3. Unit is Uninhabitable Most states have specific health and safety codes that provide minimum standards for rental units, and Florida is no different. If those standards are not met, proper notice is given by the tenant and the repairs/fixes are still not made within the allowable time period, a tenant would be considered “constructively evicted”. As a result, the obligations of the tenant under the lease are no longer required, given that…

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Breaking A Lease In Florida Without Penalties [98% Success]

Breaking A Lease In Florida Without Penalties [98% Success] Your Guide to Breaking a Lease in Florida If you are a Florida renter, you may not know that there are legal reasons for breaking a lease in Florida.  What happens when you illegally vacate your lease is that you can be subjected to fines and penalties, the rent that is due for the duration of the lease time frame, court costs, and any damages that your landlord finds. Your credit report could be negatively impacted, and it may be difficult for you to qualify for a new rental agreement somewhere else. DoNotPay can walk you through legally breaking a lease in Florida in just three easy steps. How Can I Legally Break My Lease in Florida? As a Florida tenant, the best route initially is to have a conversation with your landlord.  Let them know why you are breaking your lease, and discuss as openly as possible all of your alternatives. Although this sounds like a great idea, you may not be on good terms or have a complaint with your landlord.  In that case, the following reasons to break a lease are legal in Florida: If you are active military and are deployed or reassigned to a new duty location, you are protected under federal law. You can terminate your lease in writing under the War and National Defense Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Once notice is given to your landlord, your tenancy and termination of your rent payments become effective 30 days after the date that rent is next due. Your rental unit must be habitable, safe, and cannot violate Florida health and safety codes. Your landlord is responsible for keeping your unit in good repair, providing water, power, and heat. As a tenant, you must notify the landlord, in writing, of the safety or health violation and give sufficient time to correct the problem. Your landlord cannot harass you, enter your rental unit without giving you at least 12 hours’ notice, or in any way violate your privacy. The landlord cannot change the locks, remove doors or windows, or turn off your utilities. In many states, there is a landlord’s responsibility to mitigate damages by trying to rent the property quickly if the lease ends. This is not the case in Florida. If the landlord re-rents the property before the lease ends, it may reduce the amount of rent you have to pay. However, by law, the landlord has no legal requirement to do so. Sometimes, if you are on good terms with your landlord, you can file a hardship letter, and they will work with you. Hardship such as loss of job, illness, marital changes, being required to go to assisted living, or a family emergency may require you to break your lease.  When presented to your landlord, it gives them the option of working with you or holding you liable for all future rent. There is no Florida law that requires your landlord to make special provisions for hardship, but it is worth a try. What Happens if I Break My Lease Illegally in Florida? If you must break your lease illegally, your landlord will not work with you or try to re-rent the property, or you cannot give sufficient notification, the following consequences may occur: You may be held liable for the remainder of the rent due for the entire term of the lease. You may be taken to court and also be responsible for court costs or penalties. Fees for late rent payments may be assessed. Reports may be made to the credit reporting companies, negatively impacting your credit score and preventing you…

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Breaking a Lease in Florida 2022 everything you should know

Breaking a Lease in Florida 2022 everything you should knowImportant things to know about breaking a lease in Florida 2022‍There are several reasons you would think of breaking your lease and moving to a different home while living in Florida. A job change, increased family members, or need for increased security are some of the many reasons you would think of breaking your lease and moving to a different location. However, before you move to a different home, many things need to be considered. This informative write-up will help you understand the complex process of breaking a lease before the time is up.Rights and Responsibilities: Signing a Lease in FloridaWhile living in the home, a tenant should remember their rights and responsibilities. Following the rights and responsibilities equally will ensure that they move to a new residence without too many issues and not pay for any damages that might have been present from before. The rights and responsibilities of a tenant renting a home in any state of Florida are mentioned below:Eliminate vermin and pests from the rental unitReplace old locks and provide keys to the new locksEnsure garbage is removed regularlyContinuous supply of running and hot waterHeated residence during wintersWhile living in a rented home in Florida, tenants have two ways to safeguard their rights. The following two points are a great help for tenants:Ending the rental agreement before the scheduled date of terminationWithholding the rent amount equal to the unit’s rental valueAt times, landlords take advantage of some loopholes while renting out the residence. Therefore, to answer your question of what happens if you break a lease can be understood with these points:The landlord could take you to court, and the court will ask you to pay the pending rent amount. The due amount could also be taken from your bank account along with a wage garnishment order.The landlord would then send the debt over to the third-party collector, who would be suing you for the owed sum of money. The debt collectors could also take you to court if you cannot pay the amount.The security deposit you pay can be quite high and is almost equal to one month’s rent. Therefore, even if you keep the rented home neat, clean, and free from damage, the landlord could claim the deposit and use it to fund the owed amount.Several landlords also ask for letters of recommendation from previous landlords. Therefore, the incorrect method of early termination of the lease agreement could jeopardize the chances of your future tenancy.So, before you start looking at how to break a lease, ensure that the entire process is done in a legally correct way. Doing so will minimize the chances of hurting your rental history and ensure that you do not run into any legal issues. Contacting moving experts from Sarasota Sunshine Movers will also help you get the correct and best advice regarding the rights and responsibilities of signing a lease while living in Florida as a tenant.Lease Termination Notice Requirements in FloridaWhen…

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Florida Laws About Breaking a Lease – Caretaker

Florida Laws About Breaking a Lease | CaretakerA lease is a binding contract—and, like all contracts, it’s not supposed to be easy to break. But Florida, in particular, is stricter than many other states when it comes to terminating a lease. That means negotiating with a landlord is often the best way to try and end a lease early (at least in the Sunshine State).Leases can always be ended by mutual agreementBefore Florida tenants involve the court system, the best move is just to talk to the landlord. While leases are binding contracts, they can be undone at any time if both parties agree. A tenant who needs to move—and is willing to work with a landlord to find a replacement—may be able to negotiate a mutually acceptable way to end a lease. Given Florida’s strict laws around lease-breaking, this may be a tenant’s best bet.Lease-breaking clauses are legal in FloridaLandlords may insert lease-breaking clauses into rental agreements, although they are not legally required. These clauses can mandate both how much notice a tenant gives before terminating their lease early, and how much a landlord can charge for an early termination fee. The most notice a Florida tenant can be expected to give is 60 days, and the fee cannot be more than twice the monthly rent.1“Constructive eviction” in Florida is rarely used for residential tenantsIn most states, tenants can make a claim for “constructive eviction.” This means, essentially, that a landlord’s failure to keep their rental unit in livable condition was so egregious that a tenant was forced to move. When a court finds a constructive eviction has occurred, the lease is over.The written laws of Florida contain no references to “constructive eviction” for residential tenants. There are almost no written court decisions dealing with constructive evictions for residential tenants. There is some case law indicating that Florida courts will recognize this sort of defense by a tenant, but it is by no means a “slam dunk,” or a settled area of law.2Generally speaking, tenants who feel they have no other choice than to claim constructive eviction should be aware that they must actually vacate a residential property before making a constructive eviction claim. The tenant can no longer reside in the unit. Further, a tenant should be aware that a landlord’s violation must have caused the unit to become truly uninhabitable—for example, a refusal to fix broken plumbing, or a serious, ongoing insect infestation. A court will be more likely to find that a constructive eviction has occurred if a tenant can point to dangerous or unhealthy conditions in a rental unit.Florida landlords also have a special defense against constructive evictionIf a Florida landlord fails to abide by their legal duties to keep a unit habitable3—such as providing heat and running water—the tenant must first notify the landlord of the problem and the intention to cease paying rent. The landlord has seven days to fix the problem.4 If they don’t, and the conditions render a rental unit “uninhabitable,” a tenant may unilaterally end a lease without penalty.5 However, under Florida law, a landlord can turn around and claim that they did, in fact, make reasonable efforts to repair the conditions, but simply could not because the issues were beyond their control or power to fix. If this is the case, the lease…

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How to Break Your Lease Without Penalty in Florida

How to Break Your Lease Without Penalty in Florida Breaking a lease can be one of the worst financial decisions you ever make because you cannot break a lease unless you have a legal reason to do so. If you walk away without a compelling reason, then the landlord is within his rights to charge you for the full amount of rent right up until the end of the lease term. In Florida, there are just four situations when you can get out of your lease early and penalty-free. What Does Breaking a Lease Mean Anyway? If you leave the rental unit before a fixed-term lease expires and you stop paying the rent, then you’re breaking the lease. A fixed-term lease is one that has a definite start and end date. Suppose, for example, that you sign a lease for 12 months starting Jan. 1, 2019. This lease expires at the end of Dec. 31, 2019. You are legally bound to pay rent right up to that date even if you stop living in the premises. If you abandon the property before that date (and stop paying the rent), then you’ve broken the lease. The landlord can come after you for the remainder of the rent that you owe. There’s another type of lease called a periodic tenancy, which is sometimes referred to as a month-to-month tenancy. This tenancy has no definite end date; it simply continues until the landlord or the tenant gives notice to vacate the property. State law determines how much notice you need to give. The notice period is usually 30 or 60 days and, as long as you give the correct notice, the lease will end when the notice expires. You don’t need a reason to serve the notice and you won’t have to pay a penalty. Four Ways to Get Out of a Lease in Florida There are just four situations when breaking a lease in Florida is justified. These situations include: The lease contains an early termination clause.   Active military service. Violation of privacy. Health and safety violations. If any of these situations apply, then you usually can terminate your lease early without penalty. Leases With an Early Termination Clause It’s not especially common to have an early-termination clause in a short-term housing lease but some tenant-friendly leases may give you the option of terminating the lease early in hardship situations. This includes job loss, job relocation, divorce or a family health crisis. Check the lease to see what’s permitted. If the lease does contain an early termination clause, there are usually some conditions. For example, you may have to give 30-days’ written notice or provide a letter from your healthcare provider. Understand that you must follow the instructions to the letter or your early termination notice may not be valid. For example, if the lease requires you to give 30-days written notice of termination, then it’s not enough to call your landlord and tell him that you’ve lost your job and you’re moving out. The landlord could reasonably say that you have not terminated the lease properly and therefore still owe the rent. Terminate Under the Military Clause By federal law, members of the armed forces can break a lease without penalty if they receive orders for deployment longer than 90 days. Armed forces are defined broadly and include deployment by the activated National Guard, the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. You must prepare a written notice of termination and serve this on the landlord. The lease will end 30 days after the next rent due date. For instance, if rent is due on the first day of every month, and you serve notice on May 10, then the lease will end on June…

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