EARLY TERMINATION of a lease IN FLORIDA: what if you (tenant) need to move out early? There are most likely going to be penalties in place. Look at your lease first. Did you sign an early lease termination addendum or is there a clause in your lease that spells out what your penalty will be?
First, does your lease specifically address what your responsibilities and penalties are if you break your lease? Make sure you are very clear about what your penalty may be first,
then read up on Florida Landlord/Tenant law.
Make sure you talk to your landlord. Explain your situation and why you need to end your lease early. Try to work with your landlord, give them the date you'll be returning your keys.
And leave the rental property SUPER CLEAN and without any damage!!
DO NOT move out without notifying your landlord
Florida Landlord/Tenant law is pretty simple... you will most likely owe your landlord money. How much? That depends on your lease! Most leases require a 30 day advance notice of a move out. That notice must be received PRIOR to the end of your rent period. So if your rent is due on the 1st of each month, MAKE SURE whatever move out date you give your landlord, is received BEFORE the first of the month. Normally an annual lease will require you to give a 30 day notice, pay rent for that last month, PLUS you will owe the stipulated penalty (usually the equivalent of two month's rent). If you move out before then, you are in DEFAULT of the lease and penalties, plus lost rent, plus late fees etc could all pile up super quick. DON'T RISK THAT. TALK TO YOUR LANDLORD. EXPLAIN YOUR SITUATION. There is always a possibility they will work with you. In general, you'll DEFINITELY need to pay last month's rent plus you'll most likely still owe a minimum of another full month's rent. That amount could be two month's rent, depending you what your lease says. OR the worse scenario, you could owe the amount of rent for the remaining lease period. The law is written to protect landlords from vacancies due to tenants breaking the lease. Remember, landlords often pay large sums of money to have the rental cleaned, painted for new tenants. And they often pay commissions to agents for placing tenants. When the lease ends early, it costs the landlord a lot of money to go through the process again when it's earlier than the original term length they were counting on.
Will you get your security deposit back if you break your lease??
That also depends on your lease! But don't simply assume you'll be losing your security deposit so you move out without trying to work with your landlord. You may put yourself into a very bad situation!! Chances are if you take that route, and move out without paying your penalty, your landlord will sue you. And he'll win. Security deposits in Florida CAN NOT be designated towards rent. So depending on what your lease states, he might be able to take you to court for a bunch of extra fees and penalties depending on the last time you paid your rent, how much you owe, what your lease says your early termination penalty is, etc.
If the lease specifies that early termination means a forfeit of a full month's rent (most common)... you owe your last month's rent PLUS your full month's penalty, depending on the day you give notice or the landlord learns you've vacated. In addition to that rent... there could be additional claims on security for any additional late rent, penalties, damage, etc. If your landlord isn't holding enough money to cover the early termination amount owed according to your lease, AND you owe money for damages... you can GET SUED and a lien can be granted against you. This can affect your ability to buy things, get loans, your credit score etc.
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