Florida Landlord Tenant Rights

Few investments are more important than leasing a home, regardless of whether you are a lessor or a lessee. Knowing your rights and responsibilities ahead of time can save you costly mistakes and headaches down the road.

Landlord Responsibilities

Florida landlords have certain responsibilities to their tenants.

To begin with, the landlord must provide and/or maintain the following:

  • Dwelling structures
  • Plumbing and sanitation
  • Water
  • Heating
  • Electrical outlets and wiring
  • Garbage removal (for multi-family units)
  • Pest control (for multi-family units)
  • Mold
  • Treatment of bed bugs
  • Any amenities provided, such as air-conditioning

The tenant is allowed to withhold rent for failure to provide essential services. The tenant must provide 7 days written notice after which the landlord has 20 days to make the repairs. Once the repairs are made, the tenant must pay the rent that was withheld while repairs were pending.

The landlord must give the tenant 12 hours notice before entering the property, unless there is an emergency or if the tenant has been absent from the property for an extended time.

Along with a written copy of the lease, the landlord must provide the tenant with radon gas and lead paint disclosures.

The landlord is prohibited from engaging in retaliatory conduct or discriminatory practices.

Tenant Responsibilities

Likewise, Florida tenants have responsibilities under their leases. Tenants in Florida must:

  • Maintain the unit in a safe and habitable manner
  • Keep the unit clean and sanitary
  • Keep all dwelling fixtures clean and sanitary, and use in a reasonable manner
  • Not disturb other tenants
  • Not destroy or damage any part of the home
  • Pay rent on time
  • Remove all belongings when vacating the premises

Security Deposit

Florida law allows landlords to require a security deposit.

There isn’t a statute that sets the maximum amount a landlord can request as a security deposit or whether they must let the interest accrue. However, if the landlord does choose to accrue interest, the tenant must receive 75% of the annualized average interest rate or 5% simple interest. The security deposit must go in a separate account. The landlord can also post a surety bond.  

The full security deposit must be returned within 15 days. If the tenant only gets a partial refund, the landlord has 30 days to notify the tenant via certified mail with an itemized list of damages and charges.

Rent and Fees

Rent is due at the beginning of each period without notice unless the parties agree to a different arrangement. It is equally apportioned for each day.

Landlords can charge whatever amount they want and can change the rent amount at any time with proper notice.

The following fees are allowed:

  • Non-refundable fees
  • Application fees
  • Late fees

Evictions

Landlords in Florida can evict a tenant for the following reasons:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • No lease
  • The lease has ended
  • Violation of lease terms (the landlord must give the tenant 7 days to fix the problem or leave or a 7-day Unconditional Quit Notice if the violation can’t be fixed)

The landlord must go through the proper channels to evict a tenant. The landlord can’t lock out the tenant or have their utilities shut off. If a landlord tries to do an eviction by themselves without the proper legal proceedings, they are liable for actual and consequential damages or 3 months’ rent (whichever is greater), costs and attorney fees.

Lease Termination Notice

In most circumstances, landlords must give tenants a lease termination notice.

If the lease is yearly, the landlord must give the tenant 60-day notice. Quarterly leases require a 30-day notice while tenants with month-to-month leases need 15-day notice. Week-to-week tenants must be given a 7-day notice of lease termination. 

The tenant must be given a 3-day notice for termination due to non-payment of rent. The tenant then has 7 days to pay the rent due or the landlord can begin eviction proceedings.

A tenant can terminate the lease without notice for active military duty.

Finally, the landlord does not have to mitigate damages.

Relevant State Agencies

Florida Landlord-Tenant brochure -  Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Florida Department of Housing and Urban Development

City-Specific Links

Miami:

Water

Electric

Gas

Miami rentals need a “Residential Real Estate” sign for single-family homes or a “Commercial Real Estate” sign for apartment units

Orlando:

Water

Electric

Gas

Tampa:

Water

Electric

Gas

Official Rules and Regulations

Florida Landlord Tenant Act

Sales and Use Tax