What happens when my lease expires?
I've spent a lot of time discussing how to get approved for a rental, but now I want to take a look at the other side - what happens when your lease expires?
In the lease document that my tenants sign (Florida), here's what it states:
"The lease can be renewed or extended only by a written agreement signed by both Landlord and Tenant, but the term of a renewal or extension together with the original Lease Term may not exceed one year. A new lease is required for each year."
Based on this, it sounds like if a tenant wants to stay, they need to sign a new lease along with the landlord. OK - seems simple enough. Let's make sure. I've referred to the 2019 Florida Statutes - Title VI: Civil Practice and Procedure - Chapter 83: Landlord and Tenant document before. If you are looking for the laws in a different state, just search in Google for the name of your state followed by the words statutes landlord tenant (example: in Hawaii search for Hawaii statutes landlord tenant). Let's see what this document says about what occurs when a lease expires.
Part II deals with Residential Tenancies from 83.40 - 83.683. Scroll down to that section and start reading. I'm not a lawyer so I'm not making any legal representation here. These sections seem to describe what we're looking to find out. Section 83.57 deals with the termination of tenancy of a rental agreement. I'm not a lawyer so I'm not saying this is the correct interpretation of the law (see a lawyer for that), but it sounds to me like with a yearly lease here in Florida, a tenant needs to notify their landlord in writing at least 60 days prior to the lease ending that they plan to leave at the end of the lease term. Likewise, the landlord needs to notify the tenant in writing at lease 60 days prior to the lease ending if they no longer plan to have the tenant occupy the property. So to me, it sounds like you should be notifying your landlord 60+ days prior to the end of the lease of your intentions to stay or leave. If a realtor is involved, chances are they'll be getting in touch with you to get a new lease document executed if you want to stay.
Here's something important to note from this document: If a tenant doesn't give the required 60 days notice and leaves at the end of the lease term, they can be liable for liquidated damages as are stated in the lease document. It sounds to me like the safest thing to do is as soon as you begin a lease, make a note in your phone calendar or paper calendar of when you need to notify your landlord of your intention to leave or to sign a new lease!
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