Florida law dictates that your landlord cannot alter your lease before it expires without a valid reason. Your lease is a legal, binding contract and save for special circumstances, if that contract is valid and has not expired, your landlord generally cannot force you to sign an agreement changing its current terms. As an example, if utilities are included in your rent under the terms of your original lease agreement, your landlord cannot charge additional money to cover utilities while your lease is in effect.
Whether or not your landlord has standing to change your contract may also depend on the nature of your lease. Under a month-to-month agreement, for example, it may be possible for your landlord to amend the terms of your agreement; however, your landlord may not change the terms of your lease without first issuing at least 30 days’ notice. Whether annual or month-to-month, your landlord is unable to make any substantial changes to your lease agreement prior to the contract’s expiration date or without your express consent.
Though lease agreements are not always written, it is in always in your best interest to have an official written contract. Any alteration to your lease thereafter must be in writing and must be properly signed by both parties. Remember, both you and your landlord are bound by the lease agreement until its expiration date. If your landlord has unexpectedly altered the terms of your lease without notice or consent, consult an experienced real estate attorney in order to ensure that you’re being treated fairly and that your rights as a tenant are protected.
Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida real estate attorney can help your wade through this process and determine a positive solution. Contact him at 813-549-0096.
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.