Breaking A Rental Lease In Florida

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Breaking a Rental Lease in Florida: What You Need to Know

Finding yourself in a situation where you need to break a rental lease in Florida can be stressful. Whether it’s due to a job relocation, health issues, or unforeseen circumstances, understanding the process and implications is crucial. This guide will navigate you through the essentials of breaking a rental lease in Florida, aiming to make the process as smooth and informed as possible.

Understanding Lease Agreements

The Binding Contract A lease agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord and tenant. It outlines the terms of tenancy, including the duration and monthly rent. Breaking this contract can have legal and financial consequences.

Florida Laws on Breaking a Lease Florida law provides specific circumstances under which a tenant can legally terminate a lease early without penalty. These include active military duty, uninhabitable living conditions, and in some cases, serious health issues.

Legitimate Reasons for Lease Termination

Military Duty Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, military personnel can break a rental lease if they receive orders for active duty or a permanent change of station.

Uninhabitable Conditions Florida law requires landlords to maintain rental properties in a habitable condition. If a landlord fails to make necessary repairs that affect the health and safety of tenants, the tenant may have the right to break the lease.

Domestic Violence Victims of domestic violence are afforded protections under Florida law, including the ability to terminate a lease early with proper documentation.

Financial Implications

Early Termination Fee Many leases include an early termination clause that requires tenants to pay a fee if they break the lease. This fee can vary but is typically equivalent to two months’ rent.

Responsibility for Remaining Rent Absent a legal justification for lease termination, tenants may be responsible for rent until the end of the lease term or until the unit is re-rented, whichever comes first.

Steps to Take When Breaking a Lease

Review Your Lease Agreement Start by reviewing your lease to understand any terms related to early termination, including notice requirements and any penalties.

Communicate with Your Landlord Open and honest communication with your landlord can go a long way. Explain your situation and see if you can reach a mutually agreeable solution.

Provide Written Notice Submit your intention to break the lease in writing, detailing your reasons and any evidence to support your case, such as military orders or a health practitioner’s letter.

Understand the Process of Mitigation In Florida, landlords are required to make a reasonable effort to re-rent the property to mitigate damages. This means you may not necessarily be responsible for the rent for the remainder of the lease if the landlord can find a new tenant.

Negotiating with Your Landlord

Offer to Help Find a New Tenant Proposing to assist in finding a new tenant can sometimes persuade a landlord to reduce or waive the early termination fee.

Subletting Depending on the terms of your lease and local laws, subletting your rental unit could be a viable option. However, it’s important to get your landlord’s approval first.

Seek Legal Advice If you’re unsure about the best course of action or how to navigate the legal implications of breaking your lease, consulting with a legal expert can provide valuable guidance.


Breaking a rental lease in Florida can carry significant legal and financial consequences, but understanding your rights and responsibilities can help navigate this complex process. By approaching the situation with knowledge, respect, and open communication, you can find a solution that minimizes stress for both you and your landlord.