Landlord Tenant Law

Landlord Tenant LawLandlord Tenant Law is Important

If you are a residential or commercial landlord, or a commercial or industrial tenant in need of knowledgeable legal guidance regarding landlord tenant law, we can help.

On behalf of landlords, we can negotiate leases with commercial and industrial tenants and represent their interests if the tenant does not pay rent, abandons the premises, or does damage to the property in some way. In residential real estate matters, we provide legal counsel to landlords on tenants’ rights issues, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance, evictions, and other laws that regulate the business of being a residential landlord.

On behalf of tenants, we negotiate leases with commercial and industrial landlords, ensuring that our clients’ interests are protected, so that if future problems arise in the landlord tenant law relationship, the tenant has some bargaining power and the ability to protect its interests.

If problems do arise in the landlord tenant law relationship, such as cases in which the landlord does not provide services agreed upon in the lease, when the property is allowed to go into disrepair, or in disagreements regarding a sublet, our firm represents tenants in attempts to amicably negotiate resolutions.

We work diligently to resolve our clients’ legal problems as cost-effectively, thoroughly, and expeditiously as possible, while paying close attention to the individual needs of each client. Contact a Landlord Tenant Law Florida Attorney today to discuss your individual legal concerns.

Florida’s Landlord Tenant Law Summary of Chapter 83, Part II – Florida Statutes

View the Full Florida Statute | Download Brochure: English [ 4.35 MB] or Español [ 4.51 MB]

While both the landlord and the tenant are aware that they have certain rights when an oral or written rental agreement has been established, in many cases neither party is aware of what those rights are. When questions involving rights and duties arise Chapter 83, Part II of the Florida Statutes outlines procedures directing both the landlord and tenant toward civil action. This information is a summary of Florida’s Landlord/Tenant Law. It is not intended for the purpose of providing legal advice. For additional information not addressed in the brochure, consumers should always refer to Chapter 83, Part II of the Florida Statutes.

Before You Rent Now The Landlord Tenant Law that will affect you.

A tenant is an equal party with the landlord. You never have to agree to any rental arrangement. If possible, arrange for a walk-through of the premises to identify any problems that should be fixed BEFORE signing a rental agreement. Take pictures, video or make notes of any questionable conditions and include provisions for repairs in the rental agreement or in a separate written document signed by both parties.

A landlord has the discretion to collect various deposits, as well as some rent in advance. These advance payments generally vary in range. You should be careful about giving any monies in advance unless a decision has been made to move into the unit. A tenant who pays monies in advance but then decides not to occupy the unit MAY NOT be entitled to a refund. It should be stated in the rental agreement if monies paid in advance are non-refundable.

Before you sign, make sure you thoroughly understand the terms of the agreement. If you DON’T understand, DON’T sign the agreement. There is no grace period allowed for canceling a rental agreement, so if you sign, you are bound to its terms.

Landlord Tenant Law – Oral and Written Rental Agreements

A rental agreement is an agreement to rent property (commonly referred to as a lease). Rental agreements may be either written or oral. Most rental agreements are written because oral agreements can be subject to misunderstandings and are difficult to prove if there’s a dispute. A written rental agreement can be a formal contract or simply a copy of a letter stating the rights and obligations of both the landlord and tenant.

Florida law requires that notices to and from a landlord must be in writing, and either be hand-delivered or mailed, even if the rental agreement is oral. You should always retain a copy of any correspondence to and from your landlord.

Section 83.46(2), F.S.
If the rental agreement contains no provision as to duration of the tenancy, the duration is determined by the periods for which rent is payable (week-to-week, month-to-month, etc.). All other terms are either those specifically addressed by law or those that are part of the agreement between you and your landlord.

Landlord Tenant Law – Deposit and Rent Requirements

A damage deposit is the most common requirement of landlords. Before signing a rental agreement, examine the premises and make note of any damaged items (e.g. broken fixtures) and if possible take a picture and include a date stamp. Give a copy to the landlord and keep a copy for your files. This may help eliminate or minimize disputes later.

Section 83.49(a), F.S.
Upon vacating of the premises for termination of the lease:

  • If the landlord does not intend to impose a claim upon the security deposit, he/she must return your deposit within fifteen (15) days or,
  • Within thirty (30) days, he/she must give the tenant written notice of how much of the deposit will be kept and why. This must be done by certified mail, to the tenant’s last known mailing address.
  • If this notice is not sent as required within the thirty (30) day period, the landlord forfeits his/her right to impose a claim upon the deposit.

Section 83.49,3(b)(c), F.S.
After receiving the landlord’s notice of intention to impose a claim, the tenant will have fifteen (15) days to object in writing. If no written objection is received, the landlord may then deduct the amount of his or her claim and shall remit the balance of the deposit to the tenant within thirty (30) days after the date of the notice of intention to impose a claim for damages. If you object to the landlord’s claim you may file a complaint with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or institute an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to adjudicate the landlord’s right to the security deposit.

Landlord Tenant Law – Who is Responsible?

While you and your landlord share many of the responsibilities in the landlord/tenant relationship, the following outlines certain responsibilities that apply to each party. These responsibilities may vary based on your rental or lease agreement and the type of dwelling.

Contact us to discuss your landlord tenant law situation (305) 921-0440 or