What Should I Know Before I Rent in Florida?

            Prior to signing a rental agreement; it is very strongly advised that you make arrangements for a walk-through of the premises with the landlord to identify any problems that should be fixed BEFORE signing the rental agreement. Take pictures or videos or make notes of any questionable conditions and include provisions for repairs in the rental agreement or in a separate written document signed by both parties.

            A tenant is an equal party with the landlord. You never have to agree to any rental arrangement.  Before you sign, make sure you thoroughly understand the terms of the agreement. If you DON’T understand, DON’T sign the agreement. There is no grace period allowed for canceling a rental agreement, so if you sign, you are bound to its terms.

            A landlord has the discretion to collect various deposits, as well as some rent in advance. You should be careful about paying in advance unless you have decided to move into the premises. A tenant who pays in advance but then decides not to occupy the unit MAY NOT be entitled to a refund. It should be stated clearly in the rental agreement if money paid in advance is refundable or nonrefundable.

            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.

            WHENEVER A SPECIFIC ISSUE ARISES, CALL DANIEL M. COPELAND, ATTORNEY AT LAW, 904-482-0616.

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