Florida Landlord Tenant Law

In Florida, a lease becomes valid after a lease agreement is made orally, in writing, or after acceptance of rent by the Florida landlord. Whether it's a single-family home or an apartment complex, the same laws apply, from security deposit laws to health codes.

After the relationship is established, both parties obtain certain rights and responsibilities under Florida law. Your tenant obtains a right to live in habitable rental premises, for instance. Under the Florida statutes, they also become responsible for certain things, such as keeping their premises in a clean, sanitary state.

Equally, as a Florida landlord, you obtain certain rights like entering the rented dwelling unit. The Florida landlord-tenant law also makes you responsible for things like ensuring the rented premises are regularly maintained. If a landlord fails at any of their duties, it's consider a breach of the Florida landlord-tenant law.

Whether you’ve just started renting out your Florida property or have been a landlord for quite some time, the following is some basic information that should be in your fingertips. Both the landlord and the tenant had rights and responsibilities under Florida rental laws. Having a good landlord-tenant relationship makes it easier to follow the law on both sides.

Required Landlord Disclosures

You must let your tenant know of the following information prior to moving in, as per the Florida state law. If you don’t, they can use that as a reason to terminate the lease without further obligations. If a landlord fails to disclose any of these, it can cause trouble.

  • Lead-based Paint. If you’re a landlord renting out a unit built prior to 1978, you have an obligation under Florida landlord-tenant laws to let your tenant know of any use of lead-based paint on the property.
  • Radon Gas. Unlike on lead-based paint, this Florida law requires you make disclosure on radon gas regardless of whether it exists or not. You must use a certain language that details the nature of radon gas and the potential health hazards.
  • Security Deposit. You must let your tenant know where you’re holding their security deposit.
  • Authorized Identities. Florida also requires landlords to provide their tenants with information regarding their identity

Rights of Tenants in Florida

These are the tenant rights under Florida Landlord Tenant Law.

couple sitting on the floor

  • Right to the due process before an eviction
  • Right to be told why money is deducted from their security deposit, if the event occurs
  • Right to live in a safe and livable dwelling unit
  • The right to have repairs done in a prompt manner during the rental period
  • The right to withhold rent if things like repairs are not fixed
  • Right to be notified prior to a landlord accessing their rental unit
  • Right to be treated with respect and fairness as per the Florida Fair Housing Act
  • The right to be notified prior to any changes being made in a long-term written lease
  • Right to break the lease under certain legally justified reasons. For example, if the unit becomes uninhabitable, if starting an active military service, and if the tenant becomes a domestic violence victim.
  • Be given written notice in the case of eviction
  • Right to live in peace and quiet as per the Implied Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment
  • Right to be provided with all the amenities, facilities and utilities promised in the lease agreement
  • Right to know if their deposit is being stored in a separate interest-bearing account
  • Right to have a written agreement drafted up if they'd like a physical copy

Responsibilities of Florida Tenants

The following are some tenant responsibilities in the state of Florida under the Florida statutes. If a tenant fails to uphold these duties, they can be evicted. They have a responsibility to:

  • Pay rent on time as per the rental agreement, all in periodic rental payments
  • Terminate the rental agreement earlier than agreed upon due to the breach of lease
  • Not disturb other tenants or neighbors
  • Allow access to a landlord to make necessary repairs to their rented unit
  • Maintain all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Not to withhold rent for small issues
  • Comply with all policies such as those on smoking, pets, and subletting of the rental unit
  • Use all facilities and appliances in a reasonable manner
  • Comply with all housing and building codes materially affecting their safety and health
  • Keep the unit safe and in a habitable state
  • Not negligently or deliberately destroy any part of their rented premises
  • Take care of small repairs and maintenance

Rights of Landlords in Florida

The following are some of the rights you have under the statewide landlord-tenant act. You have a right to:

handing over pen

  • Terminate a lease when a tenant commits a serious violation, such as failing to pay rent or causing negligent property damage
  • Charge a security deposit and other fees, such as a pet deposit, prior to a Florida tenant moving in
  • Enter rented premises to perform important responsibilities
  • Make changes to the terms of the written rental agreement
  • Make appropriate deductions to a tenant’s security deposit when they are moving out
  • Reject a tenant’s rental application if they don’t meet their selection criteria. The reason(s) for the rejection must be nondiscriminatory, however.
  • Evict a tenant for lease violations like unpaid rent

Responsibilities of Florida Landlords

As a landlord, the following are the responsibilities you’ll have under the statewide landlord-tenant act. You have a responsibility to:

  • Provide a habitable living space, also known as the “implied warranty of habitability”
  • Respond promptly to tenant maintenance issues. And more specifically, you must do the repairs within 7 days once you receive the written notice from your tenant.
  • Treat tenants fairly without any form of discrimination as per the Fair Housing Act
  • Provide the tenant with a 12 hours’ notice prior to entering rented premises. The only exception to this is in case of an emergency or if the tenant agrees to a shorter time.
  • Abide by the terms of the rental agreement
  • Maintain the peace and quiet
  • Follow the proper eviction process when evicting a tenant for noncompliance with the terms of any lease agreements drafted up, including giving reasonable notice of eviction
  • Take care of the tenant's security deposit money, even when giving an eviction notice, and storing it safely in a Florida banking institution

An Overview of the Florida Landlord-Tenant Laws

1. Landlord Entry

Landlords have a right under the Florida landlord-tenant laws to enter rented premises if they meet the stipulated requirements. One requirement is the minimum notice period. As per Florida landlord-tenant laws, landlords must provide their tenants with a notice of at least 12 hours prior to the entry.

handyman fixing windows

Another requirement is on the reason for the entry. You cannot enter for just any reason. Common reasons for landlord entry include to inspect the unit and during a time of emergency. Landlord responsibilities indicate you must check in and maintain your unit as well, so do not neglect its care and schedule a time with your tenant to do an inspection.

2. Tenant Eviction

As a landlord, you can evict your tenant for the following reasons:

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Violation of the rental agreement
  • Illegal acts such as drug dealing

3. Early Lease Termination

Normally, a tenant who signs a lease is required to stay for the entire length of the agreement as per the landlord-tenant laws. This is one year in most rental agreements. That being said, a tenant can be forced to break their lease.

In Florida, legally justified reasons for breaking a lease include habitability violation, relocation for active military duty, and privacy violation.

That said, there are plenty of ways a landlord may try to evict a tenant. This includes a late rent payment, the remaining tenant illegally subletting the unit, being arrested, and others.

Bottom Line

Knowing the Florida landlord-tenant laws is an important part of owning a rental property in the state. If you’re still confused or want any clarification on the landlord-tenant laws, let the team at Best Rental Services give you a hand! We’ll help you navigate the law and do right by your rental property.

Disclaimer: This blog isn’t a substitute for professional legal advice. Also, Florida laws change and the information herein may no longer be up to date. If you have any questions or need help with your Florida’s rental property’s legal aspects, Best Rental Services can help.