A small but important change to the way that leases are executed has just passed the Florida legislature and been approved by Governor Ron DeSantis. Florida House Bill 469 removes the requirement for two subscribing witnesses to the landlord’s signature on real estate leases with a term of more than one year. Witnesses had only been required for the landlord’s signature since the landlord was the party who was transferring their property rights. However, many landlords struggled with the two witness requirement.
In today’s fast-paced and often digital world, it can be time-consuming to find witnesses. Landlords were faced with the dilemma of delaying their lease commencement or having a technically invalid Lease. House Bill 469 removes this stumbling block and allows parties to effectively bind a lease without witnesses to either party’s signature, regardless of the term of said lease. This bill is effective on July 1, 2020. Please note that while House Bill 469 removes witnesses as a legal requirement of leases, the parties may still wish to employ witnesses to support the record in the case of a leasing dispute.