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The Essentials of Florida’s Landlord Tenant Law

Florida is one of the largest states in the country by population. As a result, several people take property on rent in Florida. To ensure that landlords and tenants can peacefully co-exist, the state of Florida has laid down an extensive set of rules and laws. A Fort Myers real estate attorney can help you understand the nuances of this law. But before that here is a quick snapshot of a few rights that every tenant and landlord in Florida must know:

The Fair Housing Act of 1968

Under the Fair Housing Act of 1968, every tenant is entitled to equal treatment. The law has been put down to save tenants from any form of discrimination by the landlord. A board certified attorney will tell you that seven protected classes have been specifically identified to protect tenants from any injustice at the hands of the landlord. No tenant in Florida can discriminate against tenants based on their color, physical or mental disability, familial status, nationality, race, religion, and sex.

Security Deposit

This stipulation spells out the laws on the security deposit, storing the deposit, notifications, and returning the deposit. The landlord-tenant law in Florida does not restrict the amount that a landlord can charge his tenant. Usually, the security deposit is either the rent amount in advance for a single or couple of months. If the property in question is located in a posh locality or offers more amenities, the landlord can charge an amount that he deems fit. In case, you are facing an issue related to the security deposit, you can consult a Fort Myers real estate attorney.

Storing the Deposit

Once the tenant pays the security amount, the landlord can use three options to store the money. He can either deposit the amount in a non-interest paying account or put the amount in an interest-bearing account or purchase surety-bonds. If the amount has been invested in an interest-bearing account, then the tenant must be given the interest amount along with the original amount once the lease is completed. To know more about this aspect, you can engage a board certified attorney.

Notifications

After receiving the security deposit, the landlord must without fail intimate the tenant. This notification should be done within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

Returning the Deposit

Landlords in Florida must return the deposit to the tenant within 15 days of vacating the house. This regulation is applied in a scenario where the landlord doesn’t make deductions from the security deposit. However, if there are any deductions from the security deposit, the landlord must return the deposit to the tenant within 30 days of his leaving the property.

Landlord Entry in the Property

As per the landlord-tenant law in Florida, the landlord must intimate the tenant of his visit at least 12 hours before. However, in case of emergencies, the prior intimation can be skipped.

Under the law, landlords can visit the property to check the unit or to show it to prospective tenants. However, if the tenant violates the stipulations in any way, the tenant can seek legal action. On the other hand, if the tenant refuses to let the landlord enter the unit, then the latter can seek legal intervention from a board certified attorney.

Landlord Retaliation in Florida

The landlord-tenant law in Florida also has a clause that is specifically designed to maintain peace between the two parties in the face of a conflict. If a tenant complains to a government agency about the health and safety issues on the property, the landlord is entitled to retaliation. Similarly, if a landlord increases rent without citing a valid reason; the tenant can retaliate by engaging a board certified attorney for legal action against the landlord.

Right to Rent Disclosure in Florida

In a bid to ensure fairness in a rental deal, the law in Florida makes it mandatory for a landlord to disclose certain things about the rent to the tenant. In the lease that is signed between the landlord and the tenant, the former must specify the amount that is to be deposited as rent, the due date, the mode of payment that has been mutually agreed upon.

If the tenant fails to pay the rent and the landlord wishes to terminate the contract, the landlord must send a notice to his tenant to either pay or leave the property. If the tenant fails to act upon either of the two options, the landlord can terminate the contract. For legal action, the landlord can engage a Fort Myers real estate attorney.

Lease Renewal

In case the tenant is not renewing their lease, they must give notice to the landlord much before he vacates the property. A period of 60 days is the time specified by the law for tenants who wish to move out of a property.

The Florida landlord-tenant law has been designed to safeguard the interests of a landlord and tenant. If you need expert guidance on all your rights as a landlord or tenant, you can reach out to Fort Myers Real Estate Attorney to help you in the matter.

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