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Florida Tenant-Landlord Law

by Caroline Merkin

Florida-Landlord-Tenant-Law-Fast-Facts

Fair Housing

The Fair Housing Act was created in order to ensure that everyone is treated equally during the housing process. It protects tenants from discrimination when seraching for a rental property. At the federal level the Fair Housing Act protects the following classes…

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Familial Status
  • Disability

Learn about fair housing at the federal level here https://resources.hemlane.com/landlord-must-know-fair-housing/

Florida protects the same categories as the federal law (Fla. Stat. §§ 760.20-760.60.


Security Deposits

  • In Florida, there is no statute regarding a security deposit maximum (83.49). Additionally, landlords aren’t required to issue a security deposit, but most do to analyze a tenant’s financial stability and guarantee a payment for damaged property.
  • The landlord, is not allowed to commingle funds, but is allowed to hold the amount in a non-interest bearing account. (83.49 (1a-b)). It is legal for them to also place the security deposit in an interest-bearing account, but the landlord must agree to pay the tenant 5% simple interest per year. (83.49 (1a-b)).
    • The landlord has 30 days to notify the tenant if he/she chooses to relocate the deposit.
  • If a tenant wishes to terminate a lease early, landlords are legally allowed to withhold a deposit.
    • If the landlord has no reason to withhold a deposit, he/she has 15 days to return the money to the tenant. If landlords withhold any amount of the deposit, such as damage repairs, they have 30 days to notify the tenant via certified mail and must include an itemized list on what the funds are being used for. (83.49 (3a)).

Rent and Late fees

  • In Florida, there are no statutes in place regarding late fee maximums or rent increase notices. (83.46)
    • Additionally, there is no lawfully imposed grace period.
  • Unless otherwise agreed, rent is payable without demand or notice; periodic rent is payable at the beginning of each rent payment period (83.46(1))

Notices and Entry

  • For a non-emergency entry, landlords must give a notice 12 hours prior to assessing maintenance and repairs. (83.53(2))
    • If there was an emergency, a landlord is allowed to enter the property without a notice. (83.53(2b))
  • Landlords are required to keep their rental properties up to state and local health codes that allow a tenant to habitat a space comfortably
    • A tenant is allowed to withhold rent for a landlord’s failure to provide essential services (water, heat, etc) after 20 days
      • The tenant must pay the withheld rent once the repairs are made (83.201)

Disclosures

  • Federal law requires landlords to disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards, if the property was built before 1973, before the lease takes effect along with an information pamphlet.

Eviction Laws

Florida-Eviction-Laws
  • When it is failure to pay rent, the tenant has 3 days to pay you otherwise the eviction notice can be filed with the courts.
  • When there is another lease violation (e.g. subletting), the tenant has 7 days to resolve the violation from the point that the eviction notice is served. Otherwise the eviction notice will be filed with the courts.