If you own a rental property, it is always important to be aware of the various landlord-tenant laws in your state. This includes Florida! Not sure where to start? Luckily, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to help you familiarize yourself with the landlord-tenant laws in Florida.
Before we dive in, let’s review the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants:
Florida Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
In Florida, tenants have their own set of rights and responsibilities that must be adhered to. The following is a list of a tenant’s rights:
- To live in a habitable environment.
- To have necessary repairs done quickly and efficiently, and to take alternative actions should their landlord fail to do this (eg. Make the repairs and deduct the cost from rent).
In addition to their legal rights, tenants in Florida have a list of responsibilities. A tenant is responsible for:
- Maintaining the rental home in a habitable and sanitary condition.
- Keeping all fixtures and appliances well maintained, clean, and used for their intended purpose.
- Refraining from disturbing other tenants or neighbors.
- Avoiding causing any damage to the property.
Florida Landlord Rights and Responsibilities
But what are the rights of a landlord in Florida? Landlords have the right to collect rent in a timely manner in full, each and every month.
In Florida, a landlord is responsible for the following:
- Providing their tenants with a habitable space
- Making repairs to the rental property within seven days of the tenant requesting the repair.
Now that you are familiar with both your and your tenants’ rights and responsibilities, let’s review the various other rules and regulations that must be followed by both landlords and tenants in Florida.
Landlord-Tenant Laws in Florida: Breakdown
Tenant Privacy and a Landlord’s Right to Enter
In most cases, a landlord in Florida must provide tenants with at least 12 hours’ notice before entering the home. However, in the case of an emergency that could harm the tenants, the landlord may enter the home without notice.
Condition, Maintenance and Repairs
When it comes to a rental property, it is generally the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that the home maintains a certain level of habitability. But what exactly does that entail?
In Florida, landlords must make any necessary repairs within seven days of the tenant requesting it. The following are the responsibilities that landlords in Florida have regarding the condition and habitability of the home:
- The structure of the home.
- Functioning plumbing and sanitation systems.
- Access to clean and safe running water.
- Working electrical outlets and wiring.
- Garbage removal (for multifamily rental units).
- Pest control (for multifamily rental units).
- Heating (if mentioned in the lease agreement).
- Mold removal (if mentioned in the lease agreement).
- Bed bug removal (if mentioned in the lease agreement).
Housing Discrimination Laws in Florida
According to the Federal Fair Housing Act, it is prohibited for a landlord to discriminate against any tenant on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. Additionally, Florida provides further protections to tenants who are pregnant.
Most states have their own set of rules regarding the collection of security deposits from tenants. Florida is no different!
Security deposits may be withheld to cover unpaid rent, the cost of damages from lease violations, and the cost of repairs for damages caused to the rental home that go beyond normal wear and tear. At the end of the tenancy, landlords have 15 days to return the security deposit, or what remains of it after deductions, back to the tenant.
While many other states have a limit to how much a landlord may charge a tenant for a security deposit, Florida does not. You should consider including details on your policy for returning a security deposit if tenants break their lease early.
Required Landlord Disclosures
All landlords in the state of Florida are required to provide a certain set of disclosures to their tenants prior to the lease being signed. These disclosures are typically included in writing in the lease agreement.
The following are the mandatory disclosures in Florida:
- Authorized authorities: In Florida, landlords must provide their tenants with the full names and addresses of all owners and managers of the rental property. This must also include any intermediaries who are certified to act on the behalf of the property owner.
- Security deposit holdings: This disclosure is necessary for landlords who ask for a security deposit for a rental property with five or more individual units.
- Lead-based paint: For rental properties that were built prior to 1978, landlords are required to provide their tenants with comprehensive information about lead-based paint on the property.
- Radon gas: Landlords in Florida are required to provide tenants with information about radon gas, regardless of whether or not it is present in or around the unit.
Renter’s Right to Withhold Rent
As mentioned above, it is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain a habitable living environment in the rental property and to make any necessary repairs in a timely manner. In Florida, repairs must be made within seven days of a written request from the tenant.
If the landlord fails to do this, then the tenants have multiple options, including withholding rent and making the repairs themselves and deducting the cost from the following rent payment.
Small Claims Court
Conflicts between landlords and tenants can unfortunately be quite common. Should any conflicts progress into court action, Florida’s small claims court can be used to settle issues that are valued at $5,000 or less, and the eviction process is entirely different.
There you have it! We hope that our guide to the local landlord-tenant laws was helpful to you as you navigate owning a rental property in Florida. If you have any further questions about these laws or any other aspect of your property management needs, don’t hesitate to call our knowledgeable and professional team here at Keyrenter Tampa.
Contact us today, we’re always happy to help!
Disclaimer: This blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Laws change, and this post might not be updated at the time of your reading. Please contact us for any questions you have in regards to this content or any other aspect of your property management needs.