Challenges and Opportunities: Florida’s Rental Landscape

For many people in the US, renting is the most affordable option when looking for a place to live. Even though buying a home may cost less in the long term, saving for a house deposit can take time. Renting is a good choice, too, for people who move around a lot or for anyone who hasn’t decided where to settle down yet.

In Florida, renting costs are relatively high, but still, people may be able to find a good deal in the state. In addition, there are options for housing assistance accessible via HUD in Florida.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at what renting is like in Florida, what a rental agreement should look like, and how to use a free residential lease agreement template for Florida rental properties. Keep reading to learn more now.

Florida’s Rental Landscape: Average Prices, Options, and More

According to the Fair Market Rent calculations by HUD, Florida has the 18th highest level of rent in the US. Fair Market Rent is determined each year, so this can change year by year. For 2023, average rent prices look as follows in Florida.

  • For a studio apartment: $854 per month
  • For a 1-bedroom property: $943 per month
  • For a 2-bedroom property: $1,134 per month
  • For a 3-bedroom property: $1,507 per month
  • For a 4-bedroom property: $1,523 per month

When considering the rental landscape, you will also need to look at the average cost of living in Florida to make an assessment of how the prices will impact your spending. With housing being approximately 4% higher than the national average and the overall cost of living being 1% higher than the national average, Florida could be considered an expensive state to live in.

However, healthcare is 4% lower on average, and goods and services are 2% lower than the national average. Transportation costs are the same as the national average, which means that, in some respects, you pay a lot less.

Additionally, different parts of Florida have different costs of living. Examples of places that cost more than the national and state averages are as follows.

  • Fort Lauderdale, where the cost of living is 20% higher than the state average and 21% higher than the national average.
  • Miami, where the cost of living is 19% higher than the state and 20% higher than the national.
  • Orlando, where the cost of living is 3% higher than the state and 2% higher than the national.

On the flip side, some parts of Florida have a lower cost of living. These include the following.

  • Jacksonville, where the cost of living is 6% lower than both the state and national averages.
  • Tallahassee, where the cost of living is 6% lower than the state and 6% lower than the national.
  • Daytona Beach, where the cost of living is 3% lower than the state and 4% lower than the national average.

Rental Agreements in Florida

If you’re thinking of renting in Florida, then you’re likely going to have to sign a rental agreement, but what is a rental agreement, and what is different about renting in Florida?

What is a Rental Agreement?

A rental agreement, also known as a tenancy agreement, is a contract between a landlord and the tenant of a property. In most cases, it is a written agreement, but for some, it may just be a verbal agreement.

It stipulates the rules and obligations of the tenancy, including but not limited to the rental cost, the length of the tenancy, and any rules in place while living there regarding what you may use the property for.

In Florida, a lease must include:

  • Name and contact details of both the tenant and the landlord
  • Evidence of the intent of the landlord to convey the right to possess the property to the tenant
  • An intent on the part of the tenant to occupy the premises

Other Information About Renting in Florida

In Florida, to rent a property, you must have proof of current income and undergo a background check and a criminal check. Unlike some other states, Florida does not have rent control, so you can be charged whatever price the landlord sets for the monthly rent. Additionally, there are no state limits on rental application fees, so be prepared to pay this price each time you apply for a new property.

In Florida, landlords can ask your age on rental applications if the housing is age-specific, i.e., senior living facilities. They can also ask about private clubs you are a part of, along with any religious organizations, if either of them runs the housing.

Final Thoughts: Renting in Florida

The rental landscape in Florida is not wholly different from the landscape in other parts of the US. Rent is slightly higher than the national average, but this varies across the state. The cost of living may also be higher in some parts of the state. Rental applications work similarly, and like lots of states, Florida does not cap rental fee applications.

If you’re applying to rent in Florida, remember to factor in bills and amenities as well as application fees when working out your budget.


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