Florida landlord-tenant information you might need to know:
Before you Rent, what are the steps you need to remember?
Do a walk through, identify defects in writing and both parties need to sign off. Pictures and video are excellent forms of documentation.
Do not pay deposits until you know you are indeed moving into the unit since you may forfit that deposit if you want to back out of moving in.
Be sure all parties understand all sections of the contract and that all agreements are in writing. Oral promises will not hold up in court.
What about deposits?
Deposits can vary in amount and different deposits may be needed. If you have pets, a non-refundable pet deposit is normal. Once you move out, the landlord has 30 days to inform you in writing as to how much of the deposit will be kept and why. This must be delivered by certified mail to the tenant's new address. If the landlord does not send this letter within 30 days of the tenant leaving, the landlord forfeits the right to claim any portion of the deposit.
When can the landlord enter the premises? In an emergency, the landlord can enter at any time. Under normal circumstances, the landlord must give at least 12 hours advance notice and enter between the hours of 7:30 am to 8 pm. If the tenant is gone for a period that is equal half of the rental period and the rent has not been paid, the landlord may enter. In this last situation, I find it best to call the local police department first and have an officer there with you before entering a tenant's dwelling.
When you decide to move out, you want to give the required advance notice to the landlord. The rental agreement normally says how long this advance notice is. If your annual lease is up and your landlord does not ask for a new lease, you are there on a month to month basis. That means either party can give the other a month's advance notice. If your landlord sells the property and your lease is up, you can be told that you have 30 days to vacate the property. If you have a lease and the property is sold, the lease is carried over to the new owner. That means your current lease must be accepted as is by the new owner and you do not need to worry about having to move out.
There are so many questions always asked about rental laws and each state is different. When in doubt, it is a good idea to call the local police department with questions or check on the internet for your state's rental laws.
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