Florida Landlord Tenant Laws
January 17, 2023
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|Required Disclosures |
Security deposit receipt
Rent and Fees
Application Fee Limit: N/A
Rent Control: N/A
Late Fee Limit: $20 or 20% of monthly rent
Grace Period Minimum: None
Amount Limit: N/A
Return Within: 15 days
|Fair Housing Protections|
Notice: 24 hours’
Permitted Times of Entry: 7:30am-8:00pm
Rent Demand Notice: 3-day pay-or-quit notice
Florida Landlord-Tenant Law
Landlords in all 50 states must include information about lead-based paint hazards in the rental agreements for most properties built before 1978. Sellers and landlords must distribute an EPA-approved information pamphlet called “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” and disclose any known lead hazards in the property. These obligations were established by Section 1018 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992.
Landlords must disclose in writing the name and address of the person who receives demands and notices. This person is usually the landlord but could also be another person authorized to enter a rental agreement on their behalf, such as a property manager.
Landlords must include a warning about the radioactive gas radon in every rental agreement lasting longer than 45 days. The warning should read: “RADON GAS: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that, when it has accumulated in a building in sufficient quantities, may present health risks to persons who are exposed to it over time. Levels of radon that exceed federal and state guidelines have been found in buildings in Florida. Additional information regarding radon and radon testing may be obtained from your county health department.”
Landlords must notify new tenants of the fire protections made available in buildings over three stories.
Security Deposit Receipt
Florida landlords with five or more dwelling units must disclose to tenants in writing where they will hold the security deposit (either an interest-bearing or non-interest-bearing account) within 30 days of receiving it. Landlords are also obligated to report the name of the account depository and state whether the tenant is entitled to interest on the deposit.
Rent and Fees
- Rent Due Date: Rent in Florida is due at the beginning of each rental payment period, unless otherwise agreed (Fla. Stat. § 83.46(1)).
- Application Fees: There is no set cap on application fees in Florida. Non-refundable application fees are also permitted.
- Rent Increases: Rent control laws are prohibited in Florida except in housing emergencies, during which rent control may be instated for a one-year period (Fla. Stat. § 125.0103(2)). In general, landlords may increase the rent as they see fit, so long as they give advanced notice. Notice minimums are assumed to follow those for termination notices: 15 days for month-to-month leases, 30 days for quarter-to-quarter leases, and 60 days for annual leases (Fla. Stat. § 83.57). However, a new law in Miami-Dade County requires landlords to give 60 days’ notice for any rent increases greater than 5%.
- Late Fees: Late fees in Florida must be “reasonable.” A late fee is considered reasonable if it is no more than $20 or 20% of monthly rent, whichever is greater. Landlords must also include the amount and conditions of late fees in the rental agreement (Fla. Stat. § 83.808(3)).
- Grace Period: There is no required grace period in Florida, although the landlord can deliver a written demand for rent if the tenant fails to pay for three days after the due date. This creates an effective rent grace period Florida enforces, after which the landlord can begin eviction proceedings (Fla. Stat. § 83.56(3)).
- NSF/Bounced Check Fee Maximum: If the tenant’s rent check bounces, landlords may add a fee based on the amount of the check. The landlord may charge $25 for checks $50 or less, $30 for checks between $51 and $300, and either $40 or 5% of the check amount for checks greater than $300 (Fla. Stat. § 68.065(2)).
- Withholding Rent: When the landlord fails or refuses to fulfill their obligations to repair and maintain the property, non-residential tenants may serve the landlord a written notice declaring the unit to be untenantable. If the landlord still hasn’t made the repair after 20 days, the tenant may withhold rent for the next rental period and thereafter until the repair is made, at which point the tenant must pay the amounts withheld. If the landlord still refuses, the tenant may abandon the property, keep the withheld rent, and terminate the lease without liability (Fla. Stat. § 83.201).
- Deposit Limit: There is no limit on security deposit amounts in Florida.
- Interest: No state statute requires Florida landlords to pay interest on security deposits. However, if the security deposit is kept in an interest-bearing account, the tenant should receive interest at either 75% of the annualized average interest rate, or 5% per year, simple interest (Fla. Stat. § 83.49(1)).
- Return Within: 15 days (Fla. Stat. § 83.49(3a)).
- Deposit Location: Florida landlords are required to keep security deposits in a separate bank account (Fla. Stat. § 83.49(1)).
- Withholding: Florida landlords may withhold funds from the security deposit for unpaid rent, the costs of repairs caused by tenant damage, and any other charges under the lease agreement. However, landlords only have 30 days to give the tenant written notice (via certified mail) that they are imposing a claim on the deposit. Then, the tenant has 15 days to object to the claim, after which the landlord may collect it and mail the remaining amount (Fla. Stat. § 83.49).
Tenant Screening and Fair Housing Protections
- Among the federal landlord tenant laws, the Fair Housing Act is one of the most significant. This law prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, and disability (Title 24 USC § 3601-3607). In addition to these fair housing laws Florida law adds protections for pregnancy, age, marital status, and HIV/AIDS status. (Fla. Stat. § 760.07, 760.23(6), 760.50).
- Florida landlords are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 USC § 1681). which outlines the responsibilities of landlords to protect tenant credit information. According to the Act, landlords may not share tenant credit information with anyone without a legal reason to view it. Landlords must also investigate disputed information, dispose of credit reports after use in tenant screening, and notify applicants when their credit score or history was the reason for their denial.
- Criminal background checks may be used during tenant screening in Florida.
- However, Florida landlords should follow HUD recommendations for using criminal background checks fairly. This includes avoiding blanket policies for denying applicants with criminal convictions, assessing applicants and their criminal histories on a case-by-case basis, and only denying an applicant when they demonstrate a risk to the safety of other residents or the property.
- Advanced Notice: 24 hours’ (Fla. Stat. § 83.53(2)).
- Permitted Times: 7:30am-8:00pm (Fla. Stat. § 83.53(2)).
- Emergency Entry: In case of emergency, entry is permitted without advanced notice (Fla. Stat. § 83.53(2b)).
- Rent Demand Notice: 3-day notice to pay or quit. Eviction law in Florida requires landlords to give tenants three days to settle their rent debt or move out (Fla. Stat. § 83.56(3)).
Other Laws and Facts About Florida
- The average rent rate in Florida is $1,779 per month.
- The median rent rate in Miami is $3,800 per month, almost $925 more than it was in 2021. Miami’s rent average is also 75% higher than the national average.
- The average cost of a landlord insurance policy in Florida is about $2,300. This is higher than the national average, but landlords can lower their premiums by minimizing the risk of hurricane damage and choosing properties away from the coast.