Cynthia Crofoot Rignanese, Esquire
Thinking Globally, Practicing Locally in Central Florida Since 1990

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Is Your Rental Agreement Enforceable?

At some point in your life, you may have ended up with residential property that you had no particular use for. This occurrence may have taken place because a relative died and left you a home or because you have a permanent residence and only use a second residence occasionally. As a result, you may have decided that you would like to turn that property into a source of income by renting it out.

Even if you have never acted as a landlord before, you certainly know that having a legal agreement in place could prove beneficial. Though you may think that coming to terms with a verbal agreement and a handshake should be enough, having a written document may work more in your favor.

What to include

As you work on your rental agreement, you may need to consider including a variety of aspects in the agreement. You may need to take Florida laws relating to rental agreements into consideration as well as particular factors relating to the type of arrangement you want to create. Typically, a general rental agreement includes:

Description of the rental property

Duration of the lease

Amount of rent due

Due date of rent

Pet policies

Security deposit information

Stipulations regarding the landlord's ability to enter the property

You should not consider this list as exhaustive, as your particular situation could warrant additional or fewer details.

Unenforceable terms

Though you may want to include certain terms that you believe would help you better protect your property, you may want to remember that certain terms may be illegal and unenforceable. Some unenforceable terms include:

Granting the landlord the ability to enter the property without warning

Placing financial responsibility for any and all damages on the tenant, regardless of who caused the damage

Giving the landlord the ability to repossess property as a consequence of late rent payment

Other terms could also go against law or general enforceability. Therefore, you may want to gain more knowledge on how to properly create a rental agreement.


Because you certainly want to ensure that the terms you dictate are enforceable, you may wish to ensure that you utilize reliable legal resources when obtaining information on rental agreements. Additionally, you may also want to consider having a legal professional review your document in order to make sure that the terms of your agreement protect both you and the renter as necessary.

Rignanese & Associates is available to work with clients on their legal needs. Please reach out to us at 863.294.1114.

1. On behalf of Kelly Kennedy of J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC which has been acquired by Rignanese & Associates, PLLC.

Cynthia Rignanese