Are you looking to learn more about the landlord-tenant laws in Florida?
The Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Acts assign responsibilities to parties of a lease agreement. Understanding these rules helps resolve issues without resorting to legal action.
Florida laws on rent
Under Florida’s state law, every tenant needs to know the following about rental fees:
- The amount of rent
- When and where rent is due
- The payment method
- Late fees
Landlords need to disclose this information for all renters.
Florida laws on landlord retaliation
Florida prohibits any actions on part of the landlord that qualify as retaliatory acts. Here are some examples of things that could be considered as retaliation from the landlord:
- Joining a tenant’s union or other organizations.
- Pursuing a right as granted under the lease agreement or Florida’s landlord-tenant act.
- Writing a complaint to a local agency about the owner’s failure to meet their obligations.
- Sent a complaint to the local housing department about building, health, or safety violations.
- Pursued a right under the Fair Housing Act.
Florida laws on landlord’s right to access
Landlords can’t enter the tenant’s apartment without a proper reason. Unless there’s an emergency, landlords need to provide their tenants with a 12-hour notice before entering the property. The time of entry has to be reasonable as well.
Landlords may enter the property for the following reasons:
- There is an emergency.
- Landlord pursues a court order.
- Conducting inspections.
- Delivering requested repairs.
- Showing the property to contractors or prospective purchasers and tenants.
- The property has been abandoned.
Florida laws on security deposits
There is no limit on security deposits in Florida. Landlords are allowed to charge any amount they deem appropriate. In general, landlords charge two months’ worth of rent in the Sunshine State.
Storing the tenant’s deposit sees three options. Landlords may post a surety bond, and deposit it in an interested-bearing or a non-interest-bearing account. Landlords have to provide notice once they receive their tenant’s security deposit. The notice needs to be made within thirty days.
In Florida, landlords have fifteen days to return the tenant’s security deposit after vacating the premises.
Florida laws on tenant’s right to withhold rent
Landlords need to ensure that the property is habitable. The rental unit has to meet all the building, health, and safety standards.
Say, the landlord doesn’t repair a leaky roof. In this case, the tenant has a few options under the Florida rental law. The renter can repair the problems and deduct the expenses from the rent. Or the tenant facing these habitability issues could break the lease.
Tenants can withhold rent when following all the statutory procedures. This works out when the landlord materially breaches the maintenance duty. The material breach refers to the rental property’s habitability.
Florida laws on landlord disclosures
As a landlord, you need to make mandatory disclosures to your tenants before signing the lease agreement. Some of the closures in Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes include:
- Radon. Every landlord has to include a warning in his or her lease that states the dangers of radon gas. This came into effect when radon levels exceeding federal and state guidelines were found in Florida buildings.
- Identity. Florida landlords have to disclose their name and an address for receiving demands and notices. This needs to be done in writing and provided to the tenant before or at the start of the tenancy.
- Fire protection. Landlords in Florida should notify their tenants of the fire protection in buildings higher than three stories.
Florida laws on lease termination
Anyone terminating a tenancy has to give the other party an advance notice. When a lease nears its end, they have to follow these rules:
- 7-day notice for terminating a weekly lease
- 15-day notice for terminating a monthly lease
- 30-day notice for terminating a quarterly lease
- 60-days notice for terminating a yearly lease
Florida laws on evictions
Tenant evictions in Florida begin with a notice from the landlord. This document specifies the committed breach and gives adequate notice. For example, landlords need to give a 3-day notice when the tenant hasn’t paid the rent on time.
When a tenant doesn’t pay the due rent within the specified timeline, the landlord can file an eviction in court. Usually, the reasons for a tenant eviction in Florida fall under the following categories:
- Property damages
- Failure to pay the rent
- Illegal usage
- Health or safety violations
What are the Florida tenant responsibilities?
Tenants have to:
- Comply with building, housing, and health codes.
- Remove garbage from the property.
- Use all the appliances and facilities in a reasonable manner.
- Make sure they together with any guests don’t disturb the neighbors.
- Keep fixtures hygienic and in good repair.
- Ensure they don’t damage, destroy, impair, deface, or remove any part of the property that belongs to the owner.
The bottom line: an overview of the Landlord-Tenant Laws in Florida
Understanding the Landlord-Tenant Laws in Florida helps to avoid any misunderstandings. Knowledge is the key to averting costly legal disputes.
As a landlord, you need to be certain that all of your actions have proper legal ground. These include lease termination, eviction, and accessing your rental property.
Tenants, on the other hand, are responsible for keeping the property in its original shape. Among other things, renters also have to refrain from disturbing any of their neighbors.
If you need further information, don’t hesitate to contact us at RE/MAX Infinity Property Management today!