When it comes to running any kind of business, there are usually many rules and obligations that need to be followed. However, being a landlord involves certain responsibilities that may slip your mind. 

That’s why it’s crucial to not only know about, but also follow the laws that apply to landlords and tenants in Florida. If you don’t, you could end up facing some serious punishments.

The following is an overview of the tenancy laws that every landlord in Florida must follow.

Required Landlord Disclosures

As a Florida landlord, state law requires that you make the following disclosures to your tenant before they can move in.

  •  Information regarding the use of lead-based paint hazards. This disclosure is mandatory for landlords renting out homes prior to 1978.
  • Names and addresses of those authorized to act as authorities over the unit. This includes the owners or any intermediaries certified to act on their behalf.
  •  Information regarding radon gas. You must provide your tenants with information regarding the use of radon gas, whether or not it’s present or near your rental property. 
  •  Disclosure on how you’re going to store the tenant’s security deposit, and whether the tenant is entitled to any interest payments.

Florida Tenant Rights and Responsibilities  

The following are some of the rights that tenants in Florida have under Chapter 83 of Florida Statutes. 

A right to:

  •  Fair treatment in accordance with the Florida fair housing laws.
  •  Live in peace and quiet enjoyment.
  •  Continue living on the premises until proper eviction proceedings have been followed to evict them.
  • Break a periodic lease agreement after serving the proper notice.
  • Live in a property that abides by the state’s safety, health, and building codes.

two people having a drink on a sofa

When it comes to responsibilities, tenants have the responsibility to:

  • Maintain the proper in a safe and habitable condition.
  • Keep the property clean and sanitary.
  • Use the provided fixtures for their intended use.
  • Respect the peace and quiet of other tenants.
  • Not to cause negligent or careless damage to any part of the property.
  • Notify the landlord when looking to terminate or break the lease.
  • Pay rent on time, every month, and abide by all other terms of the lease agreement.

Florida Landlord Rights and Responsibilities

As a landlord in Florida, you have the following rights under state law. A right to:

  • Evict a tenant from the property for violating the terms of the lease agreement.
  • Ask for a security deposit as part of the move-in costs.
  • Terminate a periodic lease agreement after serving the proper notice.
  •  Enter a tenant’s rented unit for property showings, maintenance, and inspections after serving a 24-hour advanced notice.
  • Draft a lease agreement as long as it abides by relevant laws.

Some of your landlord responsibilities include:

  • Determining the rent amount.
  • Drafting a lease agreement.
  • Serving proper notice prior to entry.
  • Handling the tenant’s deposit in accordance with the state’s security deposit rules.
  • Abiding by the terms of the lease agreement.
  • Following the appropriate eviction process when evicting a tenant.

An Overview of the Landlord-Tenant Laws in Florida

Landlord Entry

Florida landlords, like their counterparts elsewhere, have a right to enter their tenant’s rented units. However, you must balance this right with the tenant’s right to privacy.

a front door surrounded by plants

The state of Florida requires that landlords provide tenants with a notice of at least 24 hours prior to entry, unless when responding to an emergency.

Maintenance and Repairs

Both landlords and tenants have certain responsibilities when it comes to maintenance and repairs. As a landlord, you have a responsibility of ensuring the property is up to code regarding safety, health, and building codes.

On the tenant’s part, they have the responsibility to make small repairs and maintain the property to the required standards.

Failure to do so can give the tenant multiple options to pursue: including, terminating the lease, suing the landlord in court, or repairing the damage and making appropriate deductions from future rent payments.

Fair Housing Laws

Landlords have the duty to treat tenants fairly in accordance with Florida’s fair housing laws. Specifically, you must treat all current and prospective tenants equally and fairly regardless of their race, color, nationality, familial status, religion, sex, or disability.

someone signing papers

The following are some actions that may be deemed discriminatory.

  • Refusing to rent your vacant rental unit to a bona fide offer.
  • Falsely claiming that your property isn’t available when it actually is.
  • Coercing or threatening a tenant to forgo a fair housing right.
  • Refusing to honor a disabled tenant’s reasonable request for accommodation or modification.

Early Lease Termination

A tenant may be able to break their lease early for certain legally justified reasons. Such as, habitability violations, relocation for active military duty, and landlord harassment.

When it comes to a periodic lease, either party can break the agreement as long as proper notice is served. A month-to-month lease, for instance, can be terminated by serving a 30 day notice.

Bottom Line

When renting out a property in Florida, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the state’s landlord-tenant law. 

For expert help in managing your Orlando rental property, Central Florida Property Management can help.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in this blog is intended for general guidance and should not be considered as a replacement for professional legal advice. It is important to be aware that laws pertaining to property management may change, rendering this information outdated by the time you read it.