It is relatively easy to deal with various legal questions as a landlord or tenant without the assistance of a lawyer. However, this is only once you understand the basics about Florida landlord-tenant laws. For anyone with questions, we are here to provide you with the answers you need. Read on for all that you need to know about Florida landlord-tenant laws.
Tenants are an equal party to a landlord. Before you sign anything, be certain that you completely understand all parts of the rental agreement, commonly known as a lease. There is no period in which you are able to cancel a rental agreement, so if you sign an agreement with any doubts or uncertainty, there is no way you can go back – you are legally bound to it.
Landlords have the power to request payments, deposits, or advance rent. Be cautious about paying anything in advance, unless you are absolutely sure you will be moving into the area. If you do pay but decide not to move forward in the moving process, you may not be entitled to a refund. Make sure to check the rental agreement beforehand about any potential refunds.
Verbal and Written Requirements
Florida law requires that notices to and from a landlord be in writing. Alongside this, they can either be mailed or hand-delivered, despite a rental agreement having been orally stated. Most rental agreements are written out, whether as a formal contract or a letter stating the various rights/obligations of the tenant and landlord. Verbal agreements can be misconstrued and subject to confusion. They’re also far more difficult to prove in a dispute. Make sure to keep copies of any and all correspondence with a landlord. Always confirm the details in a rental agreement before you close in on it.
Florida Mandatory Landlord Disclosures
Tenants are subject to many rights, especially under Florida state law. Although they may not always be verbatim in rental agreements, among them are the right to privacy, proper use of your security deposit, and non-discriminatory treatment from landlords. There are various landlord disclosures required as part of Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes that a landlord must communicate to the tenant. These will usually be found in the rental or lease agreements. These include:
- Fire Protection
- Security Deposit
- Landlord Identity
- Owner & Agent Identity
Florida Statute Security Deposits
An important topic often asked about is a Florida Statute security deposit. Landlords are obligated to provide renters with with an advance notice before they deduct anything from the security deposit. Under the Chapter 83 Florida Statutes, security deposits do not have a limit on how much a landlord can charge a tenant. Within 30 days of receiving a security deposit, a landlord must state in writing the time and rate of an interest payment, whether the funds are going to be held in an account that has interest or no interest, and the name of the account.
If Someone Doesn’t Comply
There is always the chance of either a tenant or landlord refusing to comply and failing to meet their obligations. If a tenant does not comply, a landlord must notify a tenant in writing – either by hand delivery or mail — of any non-compliances, aside from failure to pay rent. A tenant has seven days to fix an issue and comply with the landlord. However, after a week, a landlord has the right to start the eviction process.
On the other hand, if a landlord does not comply, they must be notified in writing like a tenant. The issue must be clearly stated, whether they did not comply with Florida law or with the terms of the rental agreement. The notice needs to state that due to their noncompliance, the tenant will plan to end the rental agreement within seven days. If a landlord has not complied with the tenant after a week, the tenant has the right to end the rental agreement.
If you’re having trouble navigating a Florida landlord-tenant act, or need professional legal assistance with a rental agreement, remember to seek help from an attorney you can trust. The experienced attorneys at The Berman Law Group are available to fight for your rights and ensure that you get the representation you deserve. Call today at (800) 375-5555 for a free, no-obligation consultation.