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Can a Landlord Levy a Fine for not Notifying Them of Rental Intentions in a Set Amount of Time?

We’ve all been there: The lease on your current place is about to end and you have to decide whether to agree to another lease or try to find a new place to live. Occasionally, a landlord will ask to know your intentions before the lease term is over, and taking too long to decide could cost you money. However, this may not be enforceable. In general, fines and penalties are the business of government, not private contracts. However, there may have been a clause in the lease that you signed saying that you agreed to pay a set amount if you did not provide enough notice to the landlord as to your intentions. This is a situation where it is very helpful to have an attorney go over your specific lease and review the language contained therein. Since there is no state law about providing adequate notice of rental intentions, it will come down to the language contained in the contract you signed. And even if you did sign a lease with such a clause, the wording still matters. If it is described as a “fine,” then it may be unenforceable, since that would be an “unconscionable lease provision” according to Florida statute. Typically a landlord can do nearly anything they want as long as the tenant agreed to it in the lease, but leveeing a fine or penalty for inadequate notice is not allowed. Again, be sure to consult with an experienced attorney to review your specific situation and lease terms. Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida real estate attorney can help your wade through this difficult process and determine a positive solution. Contact him at 866-200-4646. The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. The author takes full responsibility for the content. Like all blog posts, this is offered for general information purposes and does not constitute legal advice. This post was written by Stephen Hachey. Follow Stephen on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.