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5 Florida Rental Laws Every Tenant Should Know

By Teri Dormer

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When you’re renting a new apartment, you might be thinking about how you want to decorate the new space or when you’ll host a housewarming party.

While a bad tenant-landlord relationship might be the last thing on your mind at the beginning of your lease, if things ever start to turn sour, you might want to know what your tenant rights in Florida are and how Florida lease laws can help protect you from a nightmarish living situation.

No matter where you live in Florida, from Jacksonville to Miami and Orlando to Tampa, these are the five Florida rental laws every tenant (and landlord) needs to know about.

Tenants Rights in Florida

Even though Florida renters may not own the property they’re living in and may owe their landlords rent every month, tenants and landlords are considered equals under Florida lease laws.

While the landlord has rights to impose certain restrictions over a tenant – including security deposits and lease termination costs – there are limits to how far they’re allowed to go.

Let’s take a closer look at five of the most important Florida tenant laws enforced across the state.
 
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1. Florida Rental Laws and Security Deposits

According to the landlord and tenant laws in Florida, there’s no limit to the amount of money a landlord is allowed to charge in order to guarantee a living space.

In addition to needing to find someone willing to pay what they’re charging for a security deposit, Florida rental laws dictate that the tenant has a right to have their security deposit held in a separate bank account, held apart from any other assets the landlord may own.

Furthermore, Florida rental laws mandate that a security deposit is returned to the tenant no more than 15 days after they move out of the property.

Security deposits may only be retained by the landlord for wear-and-tear issues or damages as described in the lease agreement signed by both parties.

2. Florida Rental Laws and Landlord Entry

Before the landlord can enter your home, Florida tenant laws mandate they give proper notice in advance. For the purpose of repairs, the landlord must give 12 hours notice before entering the tenants home.

While the landlord isn’t required to give notice prior to entering for an emergency, there are specific legal reasons that permit them entry at all, even with due notice.

3. Florida Rental Laws and Landlord Retaliation

If your landlord is violating the laws established by a tenants rights in Florida, renters have the right to report these violations without fear of retaliation.

For both the tenant and the landlord, Florida laws protect against actions of revenge and detail the specific measures that would be classified as acts of retaliation.

If your landlord isn’t providing safe or fair housing, they aren’t allowed to evict you for reporting those violations to the state.

4. Florida Rental Laws and Written Notice

If your landlord decides to terminate your lease agreement, they’re required to provide written notice according to Florida tenant laws.

In addition to providing specific language and reasoning for terminating the lease agreement, the tenant must wait three days before filing a legal motion to reject the landlord’s decision to terminate the lease agreement.

5. Florida Rental Laws and Rent Disclosure

To help eliminate any unnecessary stress of confusion, Florida lease laws require the landlord to clearly state the basic terms of rent in the lease agreement for the tenant.

This includes the exact amount of rent, what the rent covers, any additional fees not included in the rent, the date rent is due, and all applicable methods rent may be paid by the tenant.
 
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Your Rights and Florida Lease Laws

Whether you’re a renter or a landlord, Florida lease laws are designed to protect both parties with fair and tenable requirements regarding privacy, payment obligations, and lease terms.

For more information regarding the specific laws pertaining to Florida rental laws, visit the Florida state website for the full list of statutes and renting practices.

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