Landlord / Tenant Issues in Florida

Approximately 13.3% of Florida residents rented apartments in 2015. That equates to a little over 2.5 million people. Additionally, Florida is one of the most traveled through states in the country.

People are constantly renting homes, condos, and beach houses for part of the year while they travel and live elsewhere.

Moreover, Miami was cited as one of the top ten cities with the largest share of renters, in 2014, at 47.2 percent. Given that, it makes sense the Florida Legislature enacted the statutes in Florida Chapter 83 to regulate landlord/tenant agreements and to ensure that neither party would be taken advantage of.

Attorney for Landlord Tenant Issues in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

If you or someone you know is having trouble getting their security deposit returned or if you own a rental unit and need to collect rent, then contact one of our experienced litigators at Bacchus Law Firm.

We represent both landlords and tenants in courtrooms across South Florida in areas like Broward County, Hendry County, Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and Collier County, Florida. Having an experienced attorney fight for your best settlement is invaluable when dealing with contractual issues.

Call our office now at (954) 500-5555 or fill out our online information form so that our lawyers can evaluate your case.

Broward County Landlord / Tenant Issues Information Center

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Helpful Tips before you Rent

Many landlord-tenant legal disputes in Florida can be avoided if the renting party would read the leasing agreement prior to signing and discuss any discrepancies in their understanding. However, here are a few tips to follow that may help in avoiding landlord-tenant disputes:

  • arrange a walk-through of the premises;
  • take pictures or videos;
  • ask for clarification on any parts of your rental agreement that you do not understand;
  • have an attorney look over any complex agreements;
  • retain a copy of your rental agreement.

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Florida Rental Statutes Chapter 83

Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes outline the law regarding renting in Florida; this includes residential and nonresidential tenancies. Florida Statutes §§ 83.40 – 83.683 govern residential tenancies. Some of the most relevant sections that often come up in legal disputes include the following:

  • Rent; duration of tenancies - § 83.46,
  • Deposit Money or Advance Rent; duty of landlord and tenant - § 83.49,
  • Landlord's obligation to maintain premises - § 83.51,
  • Tenant's obligation to maintain premises - § 83.52,
  • Landlord's Access - § 83.53
  • Right of action for damages - § 83.55,
  • Termination of rental agreement - § 83.56

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Failing to Comply with the Rental Agreement

A rental agreement, also known as a lease, is an agreement to rent property for a specified term. Generally, leases run from year-to-year, but there are many other tenancies that run at various lengths of time.

Florida Statute § 83.49 lays out some of the duties that the law places on both the landlord and the tenant regarding a Florida rental agreement. For example, any notices between the landlord and the tenant must be in writing.

It is imperative that property owners and tenants follow the Statutes when coming to an agreement for a lease because, while a lease determines the outcome of things not contemplated under Florida law, the lease cannot conflict with the Florida Statutes.

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Landlord's Duties and Obligations

The responsibilities of a landlord or tenant may vary based on the type of unit being rented and the lease term. Common landlord obligations include the following:

  • Landlords must comply with the applicable health, building, and housing codes in the State of Florida;
  • Landlords must make reasonable provision for the following:
    • Garbage disposal facilities
    • Locks and keys
    • Infestation exterminations (such as mice, ants, rats, bed bugs, or termites)
    • Maintaining clean and safe common areas
  • Landlords must maintain facilities for running water, hot water, and temperature conditions;
  • Landlords must maintain a separate account in a Florida banking institution for the benefit of the tenants;
  • Upon vacating the premises for lease termination, if the landlord does not intend to place a claim on any deposits, he or she has fifteen (15) days to return them to the tenant; and
  • Landlords must put any correspondence affecting the terms of the lease in writing.

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Tenant's Duties and Obligations

In some scenarios, it may seem like the landlord is the party with the most power, however, a tenant is and will be treated as an equal party with the landlord. Therefore, under Florida law, tenants must maintain certain duties and obligations as well. Some tenant obligations include the following:

  • Tenants must keep the dwelling clean, sanitary, and in compliance with the Florida building, housing, and health codes;
  • Tenants must keep plumbing and fixtures in clean and good repair;
  • Tenants must not destroy, deface, impair, or remove any part of the property belonging to the landlord;
  • Tenants must conduct themselves and ensure that their guest conduct themselves in a reasonable manner that does not disturb the other tenants or constitute a breach of peace;
  • Tenants must use and operate all electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, sanitary, and conditioning appliances in a reasonable manner;
  • Tenants must notify the landlord of any changes or terminations of the lease agreement in writing; and
  • Tenants must not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter the premises.

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Failing to Meet Landlord/Tenant Obligations

If the landlord does not comply with his, her, or its obligations, then the tenant must notify the landlord in writing, by hand or mail delivery, of noncompliance with Florida law. The tenant must also notify the landlord if, due to the noncompliance with Florida law, he or she intends to terminate the rental agreement.

If a tenant does not comply with the rental agreement, the landlord must notify the tenant in writing of the noncompliance, except for the failure to pay rent. To collect rent, the landlord must serve the tenant with a written notice allowing at least three (3) days, excluding weekends and legal holidays, to pay rent or to vacate.

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Find a Lawyer for Landlord Tenant Issues in Broward County, FL

If you or someone you know has been having issues with a landlord and are considering withholding rent, then contact the attorneys at Bacchus Law Firm for more information about the proper steps for withholding rent in Florida.

Having a problematic tenant can substantially disrupt your business, if you or someone you know is considering evicting a troublesome tenant, then call the attorneys at Bacchus Law Firm. Our firm represents both landlords and tenants who are having rental agreement issues.

Our office is located in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, just minutes from the Broward County Central Courthouse, and we represent clients in Miami, LaBelle, East Naples, and West Palm Beach Florida.

Call (954) 500-5555 or fill out our online evaluation form and allow us to help you fight for the compensation your deserve.

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