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Florida Landlord-Tenant Laws

Florida Landlord Tenant LawsThis article is intended to be an online resource for Florida landlords.  We summarize key Florida Landlord-Tenant laws that are most applicable to residential rental units.

This article is not qualified legal advice.  Individuals seeking guidance need to work with a legal advisor who is qualified in the jurisdiction.  Florida Landlord Tenant Laws and statutes may vary from county to county or city to city, this article provides state level laws and statutes. 

Also, laws and statutes are subject to change and may cause sections of this article to be outdated.  We provide links to assist landlords and tenants to the state statute page for further research.

Click here if you are seeking renters insurance in Florida.

 

Quick Facts for Real Estate Investors Considering Florida

Florida landlord-tenant laws are considered Landlord-friendly.

There are 21.5 million residents in Florida.  Major metropolitan markets in Florida are:

  1. Miami: Estimated population of 6,140,484, which 41% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $1,316.
  2. Tampa: Estimated population of 3,207,422, which 36% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $1,070.
  3. Orlando: Estimated population of 2,638,858, which 40% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $1,151.
  4. Jacksonville: Estimated population of 1,597,368, which 36% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $1,031.
  5. North Port: Estimated population of 849,851, which 26% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $1,171.
  6. Cape Coral: Estimated population of 753,337, which 29% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $1,116.
  7. Lakeland: Estimated population of 703,886, which 33% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $938.
  8. Deltona: Estimated population of 679,090, which 29% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $1,046.
  9. Palm Bay: Estimated population of 616,481, which 26% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $1,013.
  10. Pensacola: Estimated population of 507,667, which 33% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $975.
  11. Port St Lucie: Estimated population of 486,913, which 27% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $1,157.
  12. Tallahassee: Estimated population of 395,814, which 41% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $977.
  13. Naples: Estimated population of 386,951, which 27% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $1,281.
  14. Ocala: Estimated population of 370,523, which 24% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $857.
  15. Gainesville: Estimated population of 336,929, which 43% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $941.
  16. Crestview: Estimated population of 273,714, which 34% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $1,037.
  17. Punta Gorda: Estimated population of 189,362, which 20% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $952.
  18. Panama City: Estimated population of 174,724, which 33% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $1,048.
  19. Sebastian: Estimated population of 161,506, which 22% of residents are renter occupied.  Average rent is $906.

 

Jump to Different Florida Landlord Tenant Laws

 

 

 

 

SECURITY DEPOSIT LAWS IN FLORIDA

 

Does Florida require security deposits? 

Florida does not require security deposits.

 

Is a security deposit receipt required in Florida? 

Florida does require landlords to provide a receipt of security deposit within 30 days of receiving the deposit.  (83.49(2-3))

 

How much security deposit can a landlord charge in Florida? 

In Florida, there is no statute stating a maximum.  In general, landlords typically charge 1 month rent at a minimum, 2 months rent at a maximum.

 

 

Storage Requirements for Security Deposits in Florida: 

Landlords must keep the deposit in a Florida banking institution if they are accruing interest on the deposit.   (83.49 (1a-b))

 

 

Can security deposits be commingled with other assets in Florida? 

Landlords are not allowed to commingle.  Security deposits must be kept in a separate bank account at a Florida banking institution.  (83.49 (1a-b))

 

Do landlords have to pay interest on security deposits in Florida? 

Landlords are not required to pay interest to the tenants.  If landlords do decide to collect interest, the tenant is owed 75% of interest, or 5% simple interest each year.  (83.49 (1a-b))

 

Tenants who wrongfully terminate their lease are not owed interest.  (83.49 (9))

 

When must a landlord return the deposit by in Florida? 

In Florida, landlords have 15 days to return the security deposit, if the tenant is due a full refund.  Or, within 30 days when repairs or expenses are withdrawn from the deposit.  Returns must be sent via mail.  (83.49 (3a))

 

When can a landlord in Florida withhold security deposit?

At the end of a lease, the landlord is required to return the tenant’s security deposit.  However, landlords may withhold all or portions of a tenant’s security deposit if  (83.49 (3a)):

 

  • Unpaid rent and/or fees
  • Damage in excess of normal wear and tear

 

 

 

Nonrefundable fees: 

No Statute.  Landlords can charge any non-refundable fees they deem fit.

 

Pet Deposits and Additional Fees:

Florida has no pet deposit.statutes.

 

Require written description / itemized list of damages and charges?

Landlords are required to provide written and itemized list of damages sent via mail to the tenant’s forwarding address.  Florida requires landlords to use exact language when using any deposits.  ( 83.49 (3a))

 

What happens to Florida landlords that fail to comply returning the security deposit?

Landlords that failure to provide a written itemized list returned by the deadline forfeit their right to impose a claim upon the security deposit.  ( 83.49 (3a))

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RENTAL AGREEMENT LAWS IN FLORIDA

 

Rental agreements required in Florida:

Rental agreements are required for leases 12 months or longer.  We always recommend having a legal lease agreement to prevent future complications.

If you need a lease, Burbz offers an online Florida rental lease agreement.

 

What are the required lease provisions in Florida?

Florida does not requires certain provisions to be included in the lease agreement.  Besides both the landlord and tenant names, the landlord should also list:

  • Rent Amount and Due Date
  • Security deposit amount and terms
  • Process for requesting maintenance and repairs
  • Length of the lease agreement
  • Subleasing policy
  • Late Fees and Penalties
  • Landlord’s responsibilities for maintenance and utilities
  • Tenant’s responsibilities for maintenance and utilities
  • Pet policies
  • Cleaning Fees
  • Other fees

 

Landlords cannot include:

  • Tenants waiving any of their rights under Florida’s Landlord-Tenant statutes
  • Tenant waiving the landlord’s liability under Florida law

According to (83.47).

 

 

What are the rental agreement notice requirements in Florida: 

Fixed-End or Year-to-Year: At least a 60 day notice is required.  (83.57(1))

Month-to-Month: At least a 15 day notice is required. (83.57(2))

Week-to-Week: At least a 7 day notice is required. (83.57(3))

 

 

What happens when the tenant remains without consent after the rental agreement expires or terminates?

Landlords may also recover double the amount of rent due during the holdover.  (83.58)

 

 

Does the lease automatically renew in Florida? 

No Statute.

 

Rent Increase Notice:

No Statute.

 

Rent Grace Period for Residential:

Florida does have have grace periods for rent payments.  Landlords may charge late fees the day after the rent due date.

 

Rent Grace Period for Manufactured Homes:

No Statute specifically for manufactured homes.  Follow the residential grace period.

 

 

Prepaid Rent:

No Statute.  Landlords may accept prepaid rent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATE FEES AND LIMITS IN FLORIDA

Late Fees for Residential:

Landlords are allowed to charge late fees. No statutes limiting fees.

 

Late Fees for Manufactured Homes:

No Statute specifically for manufactured homes.

 

 

 

Limits to late fees in Florida:

No statute.

 

 

FLORIDA LEASE TERMINATIONS / NOTICES TO QUIT

 

In Florida, lease agreements between landlords and tenants can be terminated.  Read our blog for landlords about handling early lease terminations.  Here are the cause and effects:

 

What is the Pay or Quit for Nonpayment requirement in Florida?

Florida requires a 3 day notice to pay rent, providing a Pay-Or-Quit Notice.  Excluding weekends and legal holidays.  Florida requires specific language with notices. ( 83.56(3))

 

How many days must a landlord allow before terminating for a Lease Violation?

Landlords must provide a 7 day notice to cure, allowing the tenant to remedy the issue. (83.56(2))

 

 

Florida allows immediate lease termination if the tenant is responsible for:

No Statute.

 

.

 

 

 

How many days when terminating for illegal drug-related activities?

No Statute.

 

 

 

 

FLORIDA LAWS ON REPAIRS

 

Florida requires landlords provide a habitable property for tenants to live and enjoy.  There are specific provisions defining how tenants can remedy repairs if the landlord fails to do so.  

How many days must the tenant give for non-emergency repairs? 

Tenants must provide written notice within 20 days. (83.201)

 

Can tenant withhold rent for landlords’ failure to provide essential services (i.e. water, heat, etc.)?

Tenants may without rent if they state so in the written notice.

 

 

If the landlord fails to take necessary action, then the tenants can legally:

Tenant may remedy the situation with any of the following options (83.201):

  • Without rent
  • Abandon the premises and keep the withheld rent
  • Terminate the lease and avoid liability of future rent or charges

 

 

 

FLORIDA LANDLORD RESPONSIBILITIES

What must the landlord provide in good and working order?

Florida defines certain responsibilities for landlords, including ( 83.51):

  • Must comply with all applicable building codes affecting health and safety
  • Extermination of vermin and infestations
  • Must supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water
  • Must supply functioning heating facilities during winter months
  • Common areas are kept reasonably clean and free from accumulations of debris and filth

 

Do landlords have to provide appliances and services?

No Statute.

 

 

 

 

FLORIDA TENANT LAWS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Tenant must maintain a fit and habitable premise and is prohibited from intentionally or negligently damaging or removing any part of the premise.  Tenants must conduct themselves and others in a manner not to disturb the neighbor’s peaceful enjoyment of their premises. 

 

 

 

 

 

FLORIDA EVICTION LAWS

 

Florida requires a landlord to file a 7 Day Notice to Vacate action to evict a tenant.  

Landlords may evict tenants for the following:

  • Unpaid rent
  • Breach of lease agreement
  • Tenants actions affecting the health and safety of other tenants on premises
  • Tenants actions causing physical damage to the premise
  • Continually disrupt the other tenants peaceful enjoyment

 

Can landlords do a ‘self help’ eviction?

In Florida, it is illegal for landlords to attempt to evict a tenant not through a court order.  Landlords can be liable for the greater of actual and consequential damages, or 3 months rent.  (83.67(6))

Are landlords allowed to lock out tenants by changing locks?

Landlords cannot change locks.  (83.67(2))

Are landlords allowed to turn off utilities?

Landlords cannot turn off utilities. (83.67(1))

Tenants may not be evicted for non-payment of rent if:

No Statute

 

 

Do landlords have to make a reasonable attempt to mitigate damages when re-renting the rental unit?

No.  Landlords are not required to make reasonable efforts to find a replacement tenant at fair market value.  (83.595)

 

 

FLORIDA LAWS ON RETALIATION

 

Florida laws state a landlord cannot terminate a lease, refuse a lease renewal or raise rents when:

 

  • Tenant submitted, or threatened to, a complaint to government agency for building or health code violation
  • Tenant has sent written complaints to the landlords about repairs
  • Tenant has started or joined a tenant’s organization
  • Tenant is a servicemember and has terminated a rental agreement (83.682)

 

Florida does not define a period of time that would result in a retaliatory action. ( 83.64)

 

 

 

 

LAWS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, AND SEXUAL ASSAULT

 

Florida has no statutes to protect a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, rape or stalking.  Burbz encourages landlords to work with these victims in good faith and help prevent or reduce the situation.  This includes changing locks or letting the victim out of their lease agreement to find a safer home.

 

 

 

FLORIDA LAWS FOR LOCKS AND LANDLORDS

 

Are landlords requested to change locks before new tenants:

No Statute.  Before new tenants moves in, landlords are not required to change the locks.  It is always recommended to do so.

 

 

Are landlords required to install any specific security device:

No Statute.

 

 

Do landlords have to change locks for domestic violence victims:

No Statute.

 

 

 

 

 

FLORIDA PET LAWS & PET POLICIES

Florida Landlord-Tenant Laws does not have any specific pet laws.  Landlords are legally allowed to create their own pet policies and requirements.  Including tolerance for breeds, size, types, and more.  Read our guide to pet policies.

 

 

Any limitations on pets that landlords can impose?

No Statute.

 

 

What are the max pet deposits in Florida:

No Statute for max deposits.  Landlords can also charge non-refundable fees.   Deposits follow the same provisions as security deposits regarding interest earned.

 

 

 

 

DO LANDLORDS IN FLORIDA NEED A RENTAL LICENSE?

 

According to Florida Landlord-Tenant Laws, landlords do not need a rental license in Florida.

Landlords and owner of a residential rental property do not need to register the property.  Local cities may have different requirements, we recommend you research the local city specific laws.

 

 

 

 

 

NOTICE OF ENTRY LAWS IN FLORIDA

Do landlords in Florida have to provide notice of entry? 

Florida require landlords to provide a 12 hour notice.  It is recommended that landlords provide 24 hours’ notice for normal circumstances entry.    This includes:

  • Non-emergency maintenance and repairs
  • Improvements to property
  • Inspections
  • Showing prospective tenants, contractors, mortgagees or buyers
  • Tenant has been absent from property for one-half of the periodic rental payment

 

When can a landlord enter without notice:

Due to an emergency.  (83.53(2b))

 

 

Can landlords enter for non-emergency maintenance and repairs?

Yes. (83.53(2b))

 

 

Can landlords enter for showings?

Yes. (83.53(2b))

 

 

 

Can landlords enter for emergencies without notice?

Yes.  (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 47a-16(a))

 

 

Can landlords enter during Tenant’s extended absence?

Landlords may enter the rental unit when the tenant has not paid rent and absent for one-half the time of the periodic rental payments.  For example, if the lease agreement states monthly rent payments then the landlord can enter 2 weeks after the rent is late and unit believed abandoned.  (83.53(2d))

 

 

Can landlords enter for pesticide use?

No Statute.

 

 

 

 

FLORIDA SUBLEASE AND ASSIGNMENT PROVISIONS

Is subleasing permitted?

Yes, there is no statute preventing subleasing.

 

 

Do you need the landlord consent?

If the lease includes a clause stating the landlord allows or requires consent.

 

 

Can the LL / lease prohibit subletting?

Yes, there is no statute.  Landlords should include language in their rental agreement to prohibit without approval.

 

 

 

 

TENANT ABANDONED PROPERTY IN FLORIDA

 

Florida Landlord-Tenant Laws does specific procedures that landlords must follow when tenants leave belongings.  This may be from evictions or moving out at the expiration of lease.  Landlords are required to send a written notice to the tenant’s last known address if they believe the property has been abandoned.  Rental unit may be considered abandoned if rent has not been paid in 2 months or tenant states they do not intend to occupy the premises after a specified date. 

 

How long must landlords hold Tenant’s personal property?

Landlords are required to hold the personal property for 10 days after the notice was personally delivered or 15 days if the notice was mailed.  (715.104(2))

 

How long notice must landlords give if law enforcement has legally locked them out?

No Statute. 

 

Can the landlords sell property to pay for outstanding debts?

No Statute.  

 

What happens to excess proceeds?

Landlords can pay the cost of storage, advertising and sales incurred. (715.108)

 

How long must landlords keep records of the sale for?

No Statute.

 

Landlord must store the tenant’s abandoned property where:

Landlords must store personal property on the vacated premises or a place of safekeeping.  (715.107)

 

 

 

Are the landlords liable for damage?

Landlords are no liable unless loss or damage was caused by the landlord’s deliberate or negligent act.  (715.107)

 

 

 

REQUIRED RENTAL AGREEMENT DISCLOSURES FOR FLORIDA LEASES

 

Florida Landlord-Tenant Laws requires the following be included with all Rental Agreement Disclosures:

 

Lead Paint Disclosure:  Yes.  Federal law requires every landlord to disclose known information on lead-based paint and hazards.  Landlords must provide this EPA-approved pamphlet.

Radon:  Must provide a randon statement on at least one of a document, form or application prior to the sale or lease of a property.  (404.056(5))

 

 

 

HELPFUL RESOURCES

Florida Statutes – Landlord and Tenant – Title VI, Chapter 83

Florida Statutes – Property: General Provisions – Title XL, Chapter 715

The Florida Bar – Rights of Landlords and Tenants

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Florida

Florida Real Estate Commission

Summary of Landlord Tenant Law – Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

 

 

FLORIDA RELATED COURT INFO & LINKS

Florida Small Claims Court Limits:

$5,000 is the limit for small claims court.

Small Claims Rules

 

Florida Eviction Cases Allowed in Small Claims:

Yes

Florida Attorney General

Florida Small Claims Court

Florida State Courts

 

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