LANDLORD / TENANT ISSUES

Under Florida law, if a person agrees to pay another person rent to live in an apartment, home, or a condominium, then that person is considered a Tenant. The Tenant may rent real estate property from a private person or a corporation and make weekly or monthly rent payments. It is in a Tenant's best interest to have the terms of their lease agreement in writing in case a dispute arises in the future.

 

The lease agreement could be either written or oral, but most leases are in writing because the oral agreements could be difficult to prove in court if a dispute between the Tenant and Landlord arises. A written lease agreement should include details such as:

  • Parties to the lease – who owns the home and who is allowed to live there

  • Description of the rental property for lease

  • Terms of the rent – how much is rent, how often does it have to be paid, and how will it be paid?

  • Landlord's right of entry – can the owner enter the premises whenever they want?

  • Whether alterations to the property are permissible – can the Tenant make any changes or updates to the home?

  • Which party is responsible for the repairs and damages that occur to the property?

  • Is the Property pet-friendly; is the Tenant allowed to have pets?

  • Occupants of the property – who is allowed to live in the house?

  • Details of the security deposit

  • Start date and the termination date of the lease

 

Leases Agreements terminate for various reasons. For example, when either the Tenant or Landlord is in non-compliance with the lease agreement. Even after the proper notice was given to the non-complying party to remedy the issue, the problem remains unresolved. Another example is when the lease terminates pursuant to the lease terms. 

 

No matter the reason, if either the Tenant or the Landlord wants to terminate a tenancy that does not have a specific duration, that party must give the other party advance notice. 

 

According to Florida law, the following are advance notices that either party must provide to the other party to terminate the lease:

  • Weekly lease: Seven-day notice to terminate is required

  • Monthly lease: Fifteen-day notice to terminate is required

  • Quarterly lease: Thirty-day notice to terminate is required

  • Yearly lease: Sixty-day notice to terminate is required

 

If the Tenant failed to pay rent, the Landlord is required to give the Tenant an eviction notice to either vacate the property or pay the past due rent. The Tenant will have three days to either move out of the property or fix the violation by paying the past due rent. 

 

Throughout the term of the lease, the Landlord has many responsibilities as well. Florida Statute requires the Landlord to ensure he or she meet the following conditions:

  • The Tenant must have functioning facilities for running water, hot water, and heat during the winter.

  • Garbage disposal facilities and outside receptacles are in working order.

  • The property's common areas are clean and safe.

  • Make reasonable provisions for the extermination of bed bugs, wood-destroying organisms, ants, mice, roaches, and rats.  

 

In addition to the above responsibilities, the Landlord should ensure that he/she/they comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes. 

 

It is important to note that despite the Landlord having responsibilities according to the parties' lease agreement and Florida Statutes, the Landlord cannot retaliate against the Tenant if the Tenant exercises his/her/their rights. So what does that mean? The law prohibits Landlords from:

  • Harassing or intimidating the Tenant to get the Tenant to leave the property

  • Refusing to make the needed repairs

  • Decreasing the services to the Tenant

  • Increasing the Tenant's rent

 

If you are a Landlord or a Tenant, please contact Kimberly M. Soto at 321.972.2279 so she can further advise you of specific legal questions.

Serving Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia Counties

Telephone: (321) 972-2279

Fax: (407) 386-7165

Wekiva Springs Office Park • 415 Montgomery Road, Suite 111 • Altamonte Springs, FL 32714

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