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Frequently Asked Questions - Lease Terminations

On this page, we have compiled a list of common questions asked by tenants involved in Lease Termination disputes with their landlords. For a complete list of statutes, visit the Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act.

Responsibilities and Obligations

Should the landlord not fulfill their obligations, what steps can I take to terminate my lease?

To address a landlord's failures and terminate leases, you can refer to Fla. Stat. s. 83.56(1). Terminating a lease is a significant action, and it is recommended to carefully review the provisions of the statute and seek legal advice to fully understand the requirements and procedures involved. For more detailed information on this topic, we have prepared an article that you may find helpful. We have also written an article on this topic that can provide you with further information: So, the Landlord Hasn't Cured the Rental Property's Defects. What's Next?

How do I ensure there will be no consequences if I opt to terminate my lease?

First, you must ensure that you have a right to terminate the lease. Then, if so, you must either follow Fla. Stat. s. 83.56(1) and/or the lease in the lease termination process. It is recommended to carefully review the provisions of the statute and your lease. If you have further questions, you should seek legal advice.

If I don't have a valid written lease, do I still have rights?

Yes, you do have rights, although they may be limited. Depending on your specific circumstances, these rights may allow you to remain in the rental property for up to an additional two months if your landlord has failed to comply completely with the applicable statute.

Lease Termination, Negotiations, & Compensation

The lease states there is a fee to terminate my lease, will I be liable to pay the termination fee?

If you have the legal right to terminate the lease due to the landlord's failure to make necessary repairs, pest control, etc, you should not be held liable for a termination fee. In such cases, my clients typically pursue and successfully obtain a partial rent refund as compensation for the unresolved issue(s).

What are the consequences of breaking the lease without proper termination?

Tenants who inappropriately terminate a lease may owe the landlord all of the remaining rent under the lease. For some tenants, this can be as much as 11 months, assuming a 12-month lease.

Am I able to seek damages in the process?

The termination remedy entitles many tenants to a partial rent refund. Moreover, consequential damages may be available under common law. Such damages include increased rent, increased living expenses, and increased moving expenses. However, such damages depend on specific circumstances, including the provisions of any written lease. All tenants should seek guidance from a legal professional who can help ensure they understand and navigate these remedies appropriately.

Can I recover my security deposit if I break the lease early?

When tenants terminate a lease inappropriately, they may be obligated to pay the landlord the remaining rent for the entire lease duration. This could amount to up to 11 months of rent for tenants with a 12-month lease term. It is crucial for tenants to be aware of these potential financial liabilities before making any decisions regarding lease termination.

How do I ensure the return of my security deposit upon terminating?

The termination remedy often grants tenants the right to receive a partial rent refund, and in certain cases, they may also be eligible for consequential damages under common law. Consequential damages can encompass various expenses, such as increased rent, heightened living costs, or additional moving expenses. However, the availability of such damages relies on specific circumstances, including the provisions outlined in any written lease agreement. To ensure a proper understanding and appropriate navigation of these remedies, it is highly recommended that all tenants seek guidance from a legal professional. They can provide valuable assistance and ensure you fully comprehend the options available to you.

Questions Related to Our Processes & Representation

How long does the process take when I hire your services?

Once we have completed your interview and received your documents, it usually takes us approximately 3-4 days to prepare the necessary letters or responses related to your case.

Based on the nature of the issue, can the attorney negotiate an early lease termination agreement with my landlord?

Before proceeding with lease termination, it is crucial to determine if you have the right to do so. If you do have the right, you will need to follow the guidelines outlined in Florida Statute s. 83.56(1) and/or the terms specified in your lease agreement. It is highly advisable to thoroughly review the provisions of the statute and your lease to understand the requirements and procedures involved. If you have any additional questions, it is recommended to seek legal advice for further guidance.

What should I expect if I hire your services?

Once you decide to hire us, the next steps are as follows: You will receive an intake interview from us along with a request for your documents.

  1. We will carefully review your answers and the provided documents.
  2. Following that, you will schedule a strategy session.
  3. During the strategy session, one or more of our attorneys will develop a customized strategy and discuss it with you. 
  4. Finally, the strategy will be executed either by you or by us on your behalf.
What information is crucial for you to effectively assist me?

To help you effectively, we require the following important information:

  • Do you have a written lease, and if so, when does it expire?
  • Details of prior lease terms.
  • Any outstanding repairs, pest control, or other issues your landlord needs to address.
  • Instances of failure to provide pest control, security, or services as outlined in your lease.
  • Any other breaches of your lease by your landlord.
  • Your proposed move-out date (if applicable).
  • Your forwarding address (if you have a security deposit).
Can I handle this process myself? What are the benefits of hiring your services?

Certainly, you have the option to handle the process on your own, and many tenants choose to do so. However, it's important to recognize that landlords are experienced professionals who deal with such matters regularly. Consequently, tenants who attempt to navigate the process alone often find themselves facing eviction, mistreatment, retaliation, or debt collection. By hiring us, you can save time, avoid frustration, and benefit from our expertise, ensuring better outcomes.

Contact Us Today

Still have questions?  Contact The Law Offices of Debi V. Rumph online or by calling (407) 294-9959 to discuss your circumstances and see how we can assist you.