According to the Florida landlord tenant law, a rental agreement can be established orally or through a written lease document.
The FL Statute Chapter 83 gives both parties in a rental agreement certain rights and obligations. For example, as a landlord under the Florida rental laws, you obtain the right have your tenant pay rent on time, request a security deposit, and the right to evict a tenant for violations.
On the other hand, your tenant has the right to live in a habitable dwelling unit and the right to enjoy their rented premises in peace and quiet. Both you and your tenant obtain certain responsibilities under the rental agreement. The following is a basic overview of the Florida landlord-tenant law.
Required Landlord Disclosures In Florida
You must provide your tenant with certain notice of disclosures before they move in to the dwelling unit. If the landlord fails to disclose this information, it could result in legal complications. This can be required at the local, state, or federal level. In the state of Florida, you must notify your tenant of the following:
- Information regarding the use of lead-based paint. This is a federal requirement and only applies to homes that were built prior to 1978. The disclosure requires that you provide your tenant with information regarding lead based paint hazards.
- Information regarding the names and addresses of the property owners, as well as any intermediaries tasked with managing the property on behalf of the owner.
- Disclosure on how you’re holding your tenant’s security deposit. This only applies to landlords who own at least 5 dwelling units and require their tenant to pay a deposit.
- Disclosure involving any known presence of radon gas. You should do this regardless of whether radon gas is present in or around your property.
Tenants’ Rights & Responsibilities in Florida
Florida law Statute Chapter 83 grants a tenant the following inherent rights. This includes the right to:
- Live in a property that meets the state’s warranty of habitability.
- Enjoy the dwelling unit in peace and quiet.
- Have their security deposit (or the remainder) returned within a period of 15 to 60 days of them moving out.
- Be evicted through the proper judicial process.
- Break the rental agreement early for certified legally justified reasons, such as to start an active military service.
- Withhold rent or deduct the cost from future rent payments if requested repairs are not completed within 7 days.
- Receive a written notice of lease termination if renting on a month-to-month basis.
- Be treated fairly as the Florida Fair Housing Law stipulates.
- Be provided the aforementioned disclosures.
The following are some of the responsibilities you can require of your Florida tenants.
- Maintain their unit in a safe, livable condition.
- Keep dwelling fixtures clean, sanitary, and use them for their intended purposes.
- Avoid disturbing the peace and quiet of neighbors.
- Avoid causing damage or destruction to their rented premises or personal property.
If a tenant fails to follow these responsibilities, it may be necessary for the landlord to provide them with an eviction notice.
Landlords’ Rights & Responsibilities in Florida
A Florida landlord has certain rights. This includes the right to:
- Charge tenants a security deposit prior to moving in.
- Choose the price of rent, as Florida doesn’t have a rent control law in place.
- Reject a tenant’s rental application if they don’t meet the selection criteria. The criteria, however, must be free from any aspects of housing discrimination.
- Not renew a rental or a lease agreement.
- Hold a tenant liable for all the remaining rent under the rental agreement if a tenant breaks their lease early.
- Enter a tenant’s rented unit for a legitimate reason, during business hours, and after serving a 12 hours’ advance written notice. This is to ensure the tenant was given reasonable notice.
The list of responsibilities for a Florida landlord is as follows:
- Provide a habitable dwelling space.
- Only enter a tenant’s dwelling after serving them an advance notice.
- Provide prospects with the aforementioned disclosures.
- Make repairs within a period of 7 days after being notified.
- Follow the proper eviction process when evicting a tenant for rental agreement violations.
- Abide by the Florida security deposit rules.
- Provide the tenant with a proper notice prior to raising the rent amount. The amount of notice to serve depends on how often rent is paid.
- Treat tenants respectfully and fairly as per the Florida anti-discrimination law.
Overview of the Landlord-Tenant Law in Florida
1. Small Claims Courts
Both a landlord and their tenants can utilize small claims courts in Florida to settle certain kinds of disputes. The cost of the dispute must not exceed $8,000.
If the dispute occurs in a written agreement, the statute of limitations is 5 years. With oral lease agreements, the statute of limitations is 4 years.
2. Landlord Entry
Florida statutes states that a landlord has a right to enter rented premises. But before entry, you must serve the tenant with a 12 hours’ advance notice. You must also enter only when you have a legitimate reason. Such reasons include the following.
- To inspect the unit.
- To show the unit to a prospective tenant, lenders, or buyers.
- Under court orders.
- In case of an emergency.
3. Housing Discrimination
The Fair Housing Act protects the tenant against housing discrimination on the basis of certain protected classes. The protected classes are: race, color, religion, nationality, sex, disability, and familial status.
Florida also provides a protected class for pregnant women.
4. Rent Increases
There is no statewide rent control law in Florida. As a result, you may set the rental price as you choose. In addition, you may also be able to raise rent for any reason after the end of a fixed-term lease.
5. Early Lease Termination
Normally, a lease obligates a tenant to continue honoring their lease for a certain time duration. Breaking the lease early would therefore constitute a violation of the agreement.
There are exceptions to this blanket rule. They are as follows.
- If the tenant fulfills the requirements under an early termination clause (if provided).
- If the tenant is relocating to start an active military duty.
- If the unit becomes inhabitable.
- If an action is found to be a case of landlord harassment.
- If the landlord violates the tenant’s privacy.
Let Keyrenter Jacksonville take the stress out of owning a rental. We provide many services to both the landlord and the tenant of the unit, such as rent collection, tenant screening and staying up to date with landlord-tenant laws, so you don’t have to worry. Contact us today to learn more!
Disclaimer: This content isn’t a substitute for professional legal advice from a qualified attorney. For expert help, contact Keyrenter Jacksonville. We understand all Florida landlord-tenant laws and can help take the stress out of managing your Jacksonville rental property. Get in touch to learn more!