As a landlord, you will have several responsibilities to complete when your tenant leaves your property. The number of obligations may seem overwhelming, so it is always important to be prepared. Part of this preparation involves knowing the answer to the question, “how does a lease agreement work in Florida?” This article outlines the four things you should do as a Florida landlord when a tenant moves out. Check the information to make the process stress-free.

How Does a Lease Agreement Work in Florida?


Florida lease agreements are documents that enable you to rent out different property types. A Florida lease agreement is not the same as a rental agreement; it is a less flexible legal document that you write after accepting a rental application from a tenant. With this document, you can formalize your rental agreement with the tenant.

Are All State Laws the Same Regarding Tenant Notice to Vacate the Property?

Some states require different notices for your tenant to vacate the property. For example, as a landlord in Colorado, you may only get 21 days’ notice from a tenant before they vacate the property. In Florida, you may get 15 days’ notice; in North Carolina, you may get seven days’ notice.

4 Things Florida Landlord Should Do When a Tenant Moves Out

So, which four things should you do when a tenant vacates your rental property? Check this list to avoid forgetting any necessary actions.

1. Getting proper notice is essential

When tenants move out, they must give you proper notice that they are vacating your rental property. This notice is particularly important if the tenant’s lease is about to end and they don’t want to renew. Getting proper notice as a landlord means receiving the appropriate notice that corresponds to the lease agreement.

For example, if your tenant has a month-to-month lease, the notice should include 30 days. When you receive the notice, keep a copy for your records.

2. Setting up a property inspection

Once your tenant has taken their items from your property, you can set up a property inspection. Part of this process involves looking at your rental property and talking to your tenant about any property damage and repair requirements. Your tenant may extend an offer to clean the property and repair damages to reduce their security deposit reductions.

3. Receive the keys and change the locks

After your tenant vacates, they must return all rental property keys. If you have a garage or a basement key, make sure your tenant also returns these keys and then change the locks to secure the property.

4. Send the tenant their security deposit

Your Tenants

You must send the tenant their security deposit within three weeks of receiving the keys from them. Sending the full security deposit will depend on whether the tenant has left the property undamaged and clean. If your tenant has damaged the rental property, you can deduct the cost to repair the property from the deposit.

Make sure that if there are damages to repair, you return the partial refund with the receipts that reflect the costs of the repair. You have 21 days to return the deposit after the tenant gives you the keys.

What Action Should You Take if a Tenant Walks Out Without Telling You?

If a tenant leaves the property without telling you, you can take steps to secure your property and then rent it again. The steps you should take include the following:

  • Checking whether the tenant has or has not paid the rent
  • Inspecting the property to confirm that the tenant’s possessions are gone
  • Confirming that the walkout (or abandonment) has occurred, which may involve checking whether the neighbors saw the tenant walk out

Once you have gathered sufficient evidence to confirm that abandonment has occurred, you can make a note of the evidence and change the property’s locks. You may also file your complaint with the court to claim the rent and property damage money the tenant hasn’t paid.

What Should You Do if a Tenant Leaves Their Items in the Property?

If your tenant leaves any items behind on the property, you must survey them and create a list describing their condition. You must also take photos to ensure you are not liable for any claims of damage when discarding the items.

You can throw trash or garbage away, but other items may require different actions.

What should you do with vehicles?

If your tenant has left a vehicle on the property, you must handle the situation through local law enforcement. Call your local police with the non-emergency number and give the officers the vehicle’s license plate, model, and make. When the police confirm that the vehicle is abandoned, they will begin the towing process.

What should you do with furniture?

Landlords and Tenants Need to Know About the Florida Eviction Process

If your tenant has left furniture behind, you must complete an inventory process and store it safely in a storage unit or container. You can return the furniture, sell it, keep it, or throw them away. If you move the furniture, part of the legal process in some states is to post a notice that states that you consider the property abandoned. You must also send the notice to your tenant’s last known address.

Things to Do as a Landlord When a Tenant Moves Out: Key Points

When your tenant moves out, don’t forget to complete a property inspection, ensure your tenant returns all the keys, change the locks, and send your tenant their security deposit. If you find that your tenant has left items behind, such as motor vehicles or furniture, always follow your state’s legal requirements when handling them.

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