What You Need to Know Before You Rent
Did you know that 13% of all Floridians are renters? It is essential to know Florida’s Landlord/Tenant Law, so you can protect your rights if you are thinking about renting. it is a good idea to arrange a walk-through of the premises and take pictures of questionable conditions. You can include any necessary repairs in the rental agreement.
Before signing a rental contract, ensure you understand all terms of the agreement and all specifics are written. There is no grace period allowed when canceling a rental agreement and you will be bound to the terms. If you do not understand the terms, do not sign it.
If the lease agreement so provides, a landlord has the right to collect a security deposit and rent (for some or all months) in advance. There may also be a requirement for a pet deposit, which is often non-refundable. Short term leases may require full payment for the entire lease term as well as any deposits.
Tenant Responsibilities in Florida:
- A tenant shall operate and use all facilities and appliances responsibly and reasonably..
- A tenant shall ensure that they and their guests conduct themselves responsibly and do not disturb the neighbors.
- A tenant shall not destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any property belonging to the landlord.
- A tenant shall keep plumbing fixtures clean and in good repair.
- A tenant shall remove garbage from the dwelling in a clean and sanitary manner.
- A tenant shall comply with all building, housing and health codes, and keep the dwelling clean and sanitary.
Landlord Responsibilities in Florida:
A Landlord of an Apartment Shall Provide:
- Functioning facilities for running water, hot water, and heat during winter.
- Garbage disposal facilities and outside receptacles.
- Clean and safe common areas.
- Keys to all locks in the unit.
- Extermination of bed bugs, wood-destroying organisms, ants, mice, and rats.
- The landlord must also comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes.
The Landlord of a Single-Family Home or Duplex Shall:
- Comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes.
- Maintain the property in good repair.
Florida’s Security Deposit Laws
- A tenant in Florida has the right to be notified by the landlord when their security deposit is received and where it is being held.
- At the conclusion of the lease landlords have 15 days to return all of a tenant’s security deposit unless a claim on the deposit is asserted. Notice of a claim against the deposit must be made by the landlord within 30 days of lease termination..
- There is no limit placed on how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit.
- Tenants can sue landlords in small claims court for not returning their security deposits if the amount does not exceed $5,000.
- Landlords can place security deposits in a surety bond, an interest-bearing account, or a non-interest bearing account.
Florida’s lease laws require landlords to give their tenants reasonable notice before entering their home. Landlords must provide tenants with at least a twelve-hour notice before entering the house to make repairs. Landlords can enter without warning in case of an emergency, if the tenant unreasonably objects to the landlord entering, with the consent of the tenant, or if the tenant is away from the premises for a period of time equal to one-half the time for periodic rental payments.
Florida National Title Services
Florida National Title Services provides expert title services. When you are renting, we can help with every step of the way.
Florida National Title has years of experience guiding Florida homebuyers through the real estate purchase and refinance experience and have helped them solve the problems that come up in the process. We will decipher the “legalese” and explain what we need and why we need it each step of the way. The blogs to follow will address specific issues to guide buyers to understand the process better and to help them avoid many of the pitfalls. Call us at (561) 408-0729 or visit our website.
Florida National Title Services, LLC
250 S. Central Blvd., Suite 101
Jupiter, Florida 33458
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