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Florida Rental Laws - An Overview of Landlord Tenant Rights in Sarasota

Florida Statute Chapter 83 dictates that a landlord-tenant relationship is established after the landlord accepts rent from the tenant. The rental agreement that decided the terms of the renter’s tenancy can either be written or oral.

Once a landlord-tenant relationship is established, both parties to the lease obtain certain rights and responsibilities. For example, as a landlord, you obtain the right to enter the rental unit to carry out important landlord duties. However, you must balance your exercising this right with your tenant’s right to peace and quiet living.

These legal rights exist regardless of the terms outlined in the lease agreement.

This article will help you learn about the basics of Landlord-Tenant Laws in Florida and allow you to prevent potential misunderstandings or legal issues throughout your time as a landlord.

Required Landlord Disclosures in Florida

Florida tenants have a right to be provided with certain disclosures prior to renting a property. The following is the information you must provide to any applicant who’s shown interest in renting your property.

Lead-Based Paint

For rental properties built in 1978 and prior, federal law requires that you provide your tenants with information regarding lead-based paint use on the property.

Property Owner and Managers

You must provide your tenant with the property owner’s name and address.

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In addition, you must also state any intermediaries, or property managers, that are certified to act on behalf of the property owner.

Security Deposit Storage

You must disclose how you’re storing your tenant’s security deposit if renting out at least 5 units.

Radon Gas

You must also provide your tenants with information regarding radon gas regardless of whether it is present on your property.

Florida Tenant Rights & Responsibilities

Your Florida tenants have the right to:

  • Live free from any form of discrimination on the basis of a protected characteristic.
  • Have requested repairs completed within a period of 7 days.
  • Enjoy their rental in peace and quiet in accordance with the Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment.
  • Remain on the property until the landlord has followed the proper legal eviction process.
  • Live in a safe, sanitary, and habitable home.

The following are the basic responsibilities for renters in the state of Florida.

  • Pay rent on time.
  • Respect the peace and quiet of neighbors by not making unnecessary noise.
  • Care for the rental property.
  • Notify the landlord of any maintenance or repair issues.
  • Notify the landlord before moving out.
  • Abide by all the terms of the lease agreement.

Florida Landlord Rights & Responsibilities

As a landlord in Florida, you have the following rights under Chapter 83 of Florida Statutes. Landlord rights in Florida allow you to:

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  • Enter your tenant’s unit to perform important duties.
  • Enforce the terms of the lease agreement.
  • Remove a tenant for violating the agreement.
  • Screen tenants as long as your criteria are free from any bias on the basis of a protected class.
  • Require a tenant to pay a security deposit prior to moving into the rental.

Some of the basic responsibilities you have as a landlord in Florida include.

  • Abide by the state’s health and safety codes.
  • Make requested repairs within 7 days after being notified.
  • Follow the proper eviction process when terminating a lease agreement for a lease violation.
  • Treat tenants respectfully, equally and fairly in accordance with Florida Fair Housing laws.
  • Handle your tenant’s security deposit in accordance with the state’s security deposit rules.
  • Respect your tenant's right to peace and quiet.

Overview of the Florida Landlord-Tenant Laws

Habitability Law

Florida requires that landlords provide their tenants with a habitable home. That is, a home that abides by the state’s safety, health, and building codes. Habitability laws specifically require landlords to ensure the following:

  • Sanitation facilities, including toilets, sinks, bathtubs and showers are working as they should be.
  • Plumbing and electrical systems are working as intended.
  • HVAC systems are working properly.
  • There is both hot and cold running water.
  • The walls and roof are properly waterproofed and are free from leaks.
  • Doors and windows are in a good state of repair.

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In addition to state-level laws, it’s also important to abide by local housing ordinances. So, be sure to check your county or city level regulations for any additional requirements you may need to follow as a landlord.

Landlord Entry

You cannot enter your tenant’s home without reason or proper notice. Florida statutes require that you serve a 12 hours advance notice prior to entering the rental. The only exception to the advance notice requirement is when an emergency threatens the unit’s inhabitants.

Unlike in other states, Florida’s privacy laws don’t specify the hours that a landlord may enter the rental unit. We recommend only entering the property during reasonable hours to ensure you can maintain a good relationship with your tenants.

Small Claims Courts

Landlord-tenant disputes can be inspired by many things such as unpaid rent or security deposit deductions. Either party can seek legal redress in a small claims court as long as the lawsuit doesn’t exceed $5,000.

In cases where there is a written lease agreement, the statute of limitations is 5 years. However, for oral lease agreements, the statute of limitations is 4 years.

Housing Discrimination

Florida residents are protected from discrimination by the Florida Fair Housing Act. These protected characteristics include race, color, nationality, sex, religion, disability, familial status, genetic information, HIV/AIDS diagnosis, sexual orientation and gender identity.

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The act applies to most housing types, including single-family homes, condos, apartments, homeowners’ associations, and mobile home parks.

The state’s organization responsible for investigating housing discrimination in Florida is the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

Rent Increase Law

Landlords in Florida can charge any amount of rent they’d like. This is because the state doesn’t have a rent control law in place. You can also raise rent prices for any reason and do so as often as you like.

However, you must serve your tenant with a notice of the expected increase in rent. The kind of notice you’ll need to provide will depend on the frequency of rent payments.

Bottom Line

While remaining up to date on Landlord-Tenant Laws is critical to your success as a Florida landlord, monitoring legal amendments and keeping track of mandatory disclosures can be difficult when you’re self-managing your rental property. Fortunately, Stringer Management can help!

Stringer Management is a full-service property management company in Florida. We have been serving landlords in Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte county for 31 years. 

Get in touch with us to learn more about our comprehensive property management services!

Disclaimer: This blog isn’t a substitute for professional legal advice from a qualified attorney. Laws are subject to change at this article may not be fully updated at the time you read it. If you have a specific question related to Florida Landlord-Tenant law please reach out to a licensed attorney.

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