If you want to rent a property in Florida, you need to know your tenant rights before you sign a lease. Knowing what to expect can help you ensure that you choose the right property and landlord and that you know what to do if a landlord is violating your rights at any stage in the rental process.
Knowing the specific tenant rights is key for anyone who is renting from a new person or has recently moved to Florida. Since each state sets up its own landlord and tenant rights, it falls to the renter to know their rights and to respond appropriately if the landlord breaks the law.
#1 Landlords Owe Different Things Depending on the Housing Type
For apartments, a landlord has to provide keys and locks, pest control, facilities for garbage, safe and clean common areas, and running hot water, water, and heat in the winter. For single-family homes, a landlord must provide the home, including plumbing and the roof, in good repair.
#2 Leases Can Only be Broken at Renewal or if the Lease is Broken
Notice must be given by a landlord to a tenant if the lease will be ending. If the tenant is accused of breaking the lease, however, the landlord can initiate legal procedures for eviction.
#3 Landlords Must Give Notice to Enter
Read the fine print of the rental application carefully. Some landlords will ask for a monthly housing inspection, for example, and if you agree to this when signing the lease, the landlord can exercise that right. Landlords have to provide at least 12 hours of warning for most entries into the property. There are certain circumstances when there are exceptions to this.
#4 Rent Details Must be Disclosed in the Lease
The landlord must include information about where the rent should be paid, the amount of the rent, when rent is due, and what kinds of payment options are accepted by the landlord.
#5 Security Deposits Must be Held in a Bank
Landlords are allowed to take a security deposit to hold in the event that the tenant abandons the home or causes serious damage. However, the tenant has the right for their deposit to be held in a separate bank account. The landlord can only keep the security deposit for damages described in the lease agreement or wear and tear problems.
#6 Landlords Can’t Retaliate for Certain Actions
If the landlord in your lease does ever violate your rights as a tenant, they cannot retaliate against you if you speak up about these concerns. This includes reporting violations of fair and safe housing to the state.
#7 Evidence Will Help You if a Landlord Violates Rights
If you think that your landlord has broken the law and is not complying with the rules per Florida statutes, evidence should be collected in order to support your claim. If the landlord has entered without 12-hour notice, keep notes of this including the exact times you were told the landlord was coming in the home.
If there are concerns about the safety of the property and the landlord has refused to make reasonable repairs so that you can live in a safe environment, keep track of all your communication with the landlord and any repair contractors about your concerns. This information will become more important if you ever need to take legal action against your landlord.
Are you a tenant in Florida and need assistance with your rental agreement or current relationship with your landlord? Having an established relationship with a trusted Florida landlord/tenant attorney can help you figure out what to do next. Contact the dedicated personal injury lawyers at Berman Law Group today at 561-660-9995 to discuss your rights under the law and the best way to move forward.
The Berman Law Group
3351 NW Boca Raton Blvd
Boca Raton, FL 33431
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