Are you just getting started as a landlord in Florida? Or, are you a seasoned landlord with an expansive investment portfolio? Whatever stage you’re at in your career as a landlord, you need to keep up to date with Florida’s Landlord-Tenant Law. This Florida law gives both the landlord and their tenant certain legal rights and responsibilities.
As a landlord, being knowledgeable about your legal responsibilities and when you need to provide notice to your renters is crucial. It’ll not only ensure smooth tenancies but will help you avoid getting into legal disputes with your tenant.
The following is a basic overview of Florida Landlord Tenant Law.
Required Landlord Disclosures in Florida
Federal, state and local laws require that landlords make certain disclosures to their tenants. The following are the disclosures you must provide to your tenant prior to them moving in.
This is a requirement for homes built prior to 1978. Federal law requires that landlords provide their tenants with a disclosure about the use of lead-based paint on the property.
This is a state-required disclosure. Per Florida law, you must provide your renter with information regarding radon gas, whether or not it’s in or near your home. The disclosure is also required to contain certain language that’s provided by the state.
Security Deposit Holdings
This is also a state-required disclosure meant for landlords who require a security deposit. The security deposit holdings disclosure is applicable to landlords managing at least 5 dwelling units.
This state-level law requires that you provide your tenants with the property owners’ names and addresses.
Florida Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
Once a tenant signs a lease, they obtain certain rights and responsibilities per Florida Landlord Tenant Law. The following are some of the rights provided by the FL Statute Chapter 83.
The right to:
- A proper eviction process as outlined under Florida’s tenant eviction laws.
- Live in peace and quiet, away from unnecessary noise or disruptions.
- Received reasonable notice prior to a landlord entry.
- Have repairs completed within a reasonable period of time.
- Live in a safe property that abides by health laws and ordinances.
- Be treated fairly without discrimination on the basis of a protected characteristic.
When it comes to responsibilities, here’s what your tenants will need to do under Florida Landlord Tenant Laws.
- Serve the landlord with proper notice prior to moving out of the rented premises.
- Pay rent and the correct amount for the security deposit per the lease agreement.
- Allow reasonable entry when the landlord seeks to enter the property.
- Keep their rental unit in a clean and sanitary condition.
- Report maintenance issues whenever they arise.
- Abide by all rental policies, including pet allowances and subletting rules.
- Keep noise at a reasonable level.
- Let the landlord know whenever they will be out of town for an extended period of time.
Landlord Rights and Responsibilities in Florida
Similarly, landlords also obtain certain rights and responsibilities under Florida landlord tenant laws.
When it comes to rights, they are as follows. The right to:
- Evict tenants who decides to withhold rent or fails to abide by the terms of the lease agreement.
- Enter the dwelling unit to perform crucial landlord responsibilities.
- Not renew a renter’s lease when it comes to an end.
- Receive periodic rental payments from the renters.
- Enforce the terms of the rental agreement should a renter refuse to pay rent.
- Make changes to the terms of the lease agreement when the existing lease comes to an end.
- Require a tenant to pay a security deposit before moving into the rental property.
Per Florida Landlord Tenant Laws landlord responsibilities include:
- Follow the step-by-step eviction process as set out by law.
- Abide by all terms of the lease or written rental agreement.
- Treat tenants with respect and fairness.
- Make requested repairs within a reasonable period of time.
- Provide tenants with reasonable notice prior to entering their property.
- Ensure tenants enjoy peace and quiet by minimizing or removing causes of noise, disturbances or other disruptions.
An Overview of Florida Landlord Tenant Law
One of the rights landlords obtain under the landlord-tenant laws in Florida is tenant eviction. Landlords can begin the process only if you have a just cause. Just causes include:
- Nonpayment of rent.
- When the lease has ended but the tenant won’t leave.
- If the tenant fails to abide by the terms of the lease while they rent a property.
If your tenant has committed any of these actions, you must serve them a written notice in order for the eviction process to begin. You may then proceed by moving to court if the tenant doesn’t oblige the eviction notice.
Please note that “self-help” eviction is illegal in Florida. You cannot do things like shut down the utilities, lock out the tenant, or remove their belongings from the property while they rent it.
You have a right to request a security deposit from your Florida tenants while they rent your property. Be that as it may, you must abide by certain security deposit rules. Some of the rules include:
- You must store your tenant’s deposit one of three ways. These are, in an interest-bearing account, a non-interest bearing account, or by posting the deposit as a surety bond.
- You must provide written notice to your tenant within 30 days after receiving their deposit.
- You must return the tenant’s deposit, or whatever remains of itm within 15 days of their moving out.
Early Lease Termination
In Florida, a tenant can break their lease early without penalty for legally justified reasons. These reasons include:
- If there is an early lease termination clause
- If the tenant is relocating for active military duty
- In the event of a habitability violation in the dwelling unit
- If there is a privacy violation
- If the landlord fails to abide by the terms of the written lease or rental agreement
The Fair Housing Act protects tenants against discrimination on the basis of some protected classes.
The protected characteristics per Florida statutes are as follows.
- Familial status
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
- Sickle cell trait
- Citizenship status
- Genetic information
As a Florida landlord, it's critical to be well versed in Florida’s Landlord-Tenant Laws. However, keeping up to date on legal amendments can be stressful!
If you have questions or concerns about Florida’s Landlord-Tenant Laws, reach out to NFI Property Management Solutions today!
Disclaimer: This blog isn’t a substitute for expert legal advice. Also, Florida statutes and laws change and this post might not be updated at the time of your reading. If you have any legal questions or concerns please reach out to a licensed attorney.