Florida Rental Laws

Last updated on August 24, 2016 by

This article summarizes some key Florida rental laws applicable to residential rental units.

We’ve used the Official State Statutes and other reputable municipal sources were used to research this information. All sources are cited appropriately.

With that said, landlord-tenant laws are always changing, and may even vary from county to county. You have a responsibility to perform your own research and cautiously apply the laws to your unique situation.

If you have legal questions or concerns, we recommend consulting with the appropriate government agencies and/or a qualified lawyer in your area. Your local or state bar association has a referral service that can help you find a lawyer with experience in landlord-tenant law.

Official Rules and Regulations


Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: No Statute (83.49)
  • Security Deposit Interest: Not Required, but allowed.  If interest is being collected, it must be in a Florida banking institution, and tenant receives 75% if earnings (83.49 (1a-b)).  No interest is due to a tenant who wrongfully terminates his or her tenancy prior to the end of the rental term (83.49 (9)).
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: Yes, landlords are not allowed to commingle funds (83.49 (1a-b)).  Landlords are also allowed to post a surety bond (83.49 (1c)).
  • Pet Deposits and Additional Non-refundable Fees: No Statute, but is typically allowed and customary.
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: 15 days if full refund, 30 days if withholding any amount (83.49 (3a)).
  • Require Written Description / Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes, and landlord must send notice using exact language found in Florida Statute 83.49 (3a).
  • Receipt of Security Deposit: Required to be given to the Tenant within 30 days. Landlord must identify the manner in which the money is being held, and what the interest rate is, if any. Florida has specific rules pertaining to the receipt notification, read Statute 83.49(2-3) carefully.

Lease, Rent & Fees:

  • Rent Increase Notice: No Statute (83.46)
  • When Rent is Due: When agreed upon, at the beginning of each period, and rent is uniformly apportionable from day-to-day (83.46(1)).
  • Application Fees: No Statute. Use Cozy to avoid having to charge application fees.
  • Late Fees: No Statute (83.46)
  • Returned Check Fees: If payment is returned by a financial institution, landlord can impose a service charge of $25, if the face value does not exceed $50, $30, if the face value exceeds $50 but does not exceed $300, $40, if the face value exceeds $300, or 5 percent of the face amount of the check, whichever is greater (68.065). I recommend using Cozy to collect rent online to nearly eradicate late payments.
  • Prepaid Rent: No Statute (83.46)
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): Yes (83.60). Essential services are defined in Statute 83.51.
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: No Statute
  • Landlord Allow to Recover Court and Attorney’s Fees: Yes (83.4883.55)
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: No, Landlord has no obligation to rerent during a breach of lease by tenant. For specific requirements, read Statute 83.595.

Notices and Entry:

  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Yearly Lease: Not less than 60 days prior to the end of any annual period (83.57(1)).
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Quarter to Quarter: Not less than 30 days prior to the end of any quarterly period (83.57(2)).
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Month-to-Month: Not less than 15 days prior to the end of any monthly period (83.57(3)).
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Week-to-week: Not less than 7 days prior to the end of any weekly period (83.57(4)).
  • Notice of date/time of Move-Out Inspection: No Statute
  • Termination of Lease for Nonpayment: 3 days Notice, excluding Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays.  Specific language must be included in the notice, which is found in Statute 83.56(3).
  • Notice of Eviction for Lease Violation: Tenant has 7 days to remedy the issue or landlord can file for eviction and terminate lease (83.56(2)).
  • Required Notice before Entry: 12 hours, unless otherwise agreed upon (83.53(2)).
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): 12 hours (83.53(2))
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Yes (83.53(2b))
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: Yes (83.53(2d))
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No Statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No (83.67(1))
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (83.67(2))
  • Penalty for a Self-Help Eviction: A landlord who performs a self-help eviction shall be liable to the tenant for actual and consequential damages or 3 months’ rent, whichever is greater, and costs, including attorney’s fees. Subsequent or repeated violations that are not contemporaneous with the initial violation shall be subject to separate awards of damages. (83.67(6))
  • Proper Notice for Abandoned Property: Yes, first-class mail, pre-paid postage (715.104), using the specific language found in Statutes 715.105, or 715.106.  Review Statutes 715.104 – 705.111 for specific instructions and requirements for abandoned property.

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Landlords are not allowed to evict tenants without going through the legal process (aka self-help evictions).  Penalty is actual damages to tenant or 3 months rent – whichever is greater (83.67(6)).
  • For buildings over three (3) stories, landlord shall disclose to the tenants initially moving into the building the availability or lack of availability of fire protection (83.50(2)).
  • The landlord shall, at or before the commencement of the tenancy, provide the name and address of the landlord or a person authorized to receive notices and demands in the landlord’s behalf (83.50(2)).
  • Notification shall be provided on at least one document, form, or application executed at the time of, or prior to, contract for sale and purchase of any building or execution of a rental agreement for any building. Such notification shall contain the following language: “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.” (404.056(5))
  • Landlord shall not prevent the tenant from displaying a United States Flag (83.67(4)).
  • Landlord is not responsible for personal property left on the premise after death of tenant if the following clause is included in the signed lease agreement: “By signing this rental agreement, the tenant agrees that upon surrender, abandonment, or recovery of possession of the dwelling unit due to the death of the last remaining tenant, as provided by Chapter 83, Florida Statutes, the landlord shall not be liable or responsible for storage or disposition of the tenant’s personal property.” (83.67(5))
  • Landlord is not allowed to include clauses in the lease that force either party to waive or forfeit rights, remedies, requirements, or liabilities set forth by law (83.47).
  • It is unlawful for a landlord to discriminatorily increase a tenant’s rent or decrease services to a tenant, or to bring or threaten to bring an action for possession or other civil action, primarily because the landlord is retaliating against the tenant (83.64).
  • Retaliation is considered if action is taken on a tenant who (1) has filed an official complaint to a Government Authority, (2) has organized, encouraged, or participated in a tenants’ organization, (3) has complained to the landlord pursuant to Statute 83.56(1), or (4) is a servicemember who has terminated a rental agreement pursuant to Statute 83.682.

Court Related:

  • Small Claims Court Limits: $5,000 or less, excluding costs, interest, and attorneys’ fees.
  • Eviction Cases Allowed: Yes
  • Small Claims Rules (PDF)
  • Statute of Limitations

Business Licenses and Fees:

  • Business License Required: No state-wide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements.  Check with your local governing authority.
  • Rentals in Miami need a Residential Real Estate Sign permit (single family homes) or a Commercial Real Estate Sign permit (apartment units). It is a sticker that should be placed on the sign. The permit is $5.00 for a single family home, $15.00 for an apartment unit, and it is valid for one (1) year from purchase.
  • Sales and Use Tax on Rental of Living or Sleeping Accommodations
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1,210 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • John Cosulich

    Is a commercial tenant who has consistently repaired the roof on a 40 year old building during its 10 year lease term responsible for replacing that roof at the expiration of the lease or is the continuing degredation of the old roof deemed “ordinary wear and tear” in Florida?

  • dawn

    Can a landlord present a longterm annual lease tenant with a new lease (2 days prior to the rent being due) that includes not only a raise in the rent but a raise in the deposits (since he says they have to match 1st and last month’s rent)

  • Barbie Torpey

    I have a tenant in FL that has destroyed my kitchen cabinets, bathroom door, and leaves trash in the yard along with overflowing trash cans. After a 7 day notice to cure, to no avail, I attempted to evict him. The judge didn’t feel there was enough damage, and the eviction was denied. He sends me the almost vile threats and name calling by text, so I filed a restraining order against him, which was approved. My main concern is his lease is up in less than 4 weeks, and he has not paid any utilities since August. The utilities are in my name, and I need to know if he doesn’t pay them and they get turned off, am I responsible to pay them so they have utilities? This includes electric, water, trash and cable. Thanks for any help.

    • Ben Parham

      Hello Barbie,

      I’m a real estate broker and property manager in Florida so I’d be happy to answer your question. Per state laws, if you are providing a utility service as a part of your lease agreement, it is illegal to discontinue that service as an inducement to make the tenant pay rent, utility, or other charges. It is for this reason that we do not provide any utility services for tenants in our properties. If they don’t pay the utility company, the utility company can turn them off. If we’re paying the utilities but expect the tenant to reimburse us and they don’t, we can’t turn the service off. So in the future, I would suggest you make your tenants pay for their owner utilities.

      Good luck!

      • Barbie Torpey

        Thanks, Ben.
        I know that I cannot shut off the utilities to force evict, but the signed lease states that they are responsible to make any and all utility payments, which include water, electric, cable/internet, and maintenance bills including trash and lawn service. Although the bills are in my name, they have been paying the utilities from their accounts, up until August 1st. Since this is not a landlord disconnect, but rather a failure to pay on their part, as the utilities get shut off one by one, I should not be legally responsible to turn them back on. I cannot find any landlord/tenant laws that cover this issue. I do know that the cable was cut off on Thursday, with a balance past due of over $1100.00. Electric is next.


  • janis goldberg

    My ex landlord has filed a claim on my security deposit.is my question short and sweet??

  • Elaine Velasquez

    I over paid my rent..and i will not be renewing my lease. The move is expensive but the landlord refuses to return my overpayment until i move out. This is Not my security deposit – so is it leagal to hold my money ?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Elaine

      Any sort of deadline to return overpayment probably wouldn’t be regulated in landlord-tenant laws (although I’m not a lawyer). I’m not even sure if it’s regulated in other financial laws. Sometimes when I over pay a utility company, it takes them 6 weeks to refund the money. I guess your two options are to 1) continue to ask the Landlord for the money or 2) talk to a lawyer about sending a strongly worded letter to the landlord.

  • Unhappy tenant

    Hi. So my boyfriend and i have been renting this apt for about 5 yrs and its a house that has 2 units with sep entrances for each one. a year ago a man and his wife purchased the home and so new landlords and live in the front but he also has 2 or 3 other ppl over there living too. we are on a wk to wk rent n pay him every wk, he nvr made a lease for us since hes been the ownr hes giving us a hard time ltly certain ppl tht come visit he calls over here and says he doesnt want them on property that he will call the police that we will need to move as well and its all bc of how they look not bc nethung else nvr has been pblms.what are our rights, also he has built extra rooms on house w/o inspection whats rules on that?…please help

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi there

      Generally speaking, a landlord can’t tell you who you can or can’t have over unless there is some sort of illegal activity, or those guests are living there too instead of just being a guest.

      On the other side of it, since you are only on a week to week agreement, the landlord can terminate the tenancy with very short notice – for any reason at all. You really don’t have any security since you don’t have a lease.

      The extra rooms might have needed an inspection, or maybe not. I don’t know the housing codes in your area, but either way, it really doesn’t have any influence on your guest situation. If you want to know your legal rights, you’ll need to consult with an attorney (which I am not). Best of luck to you.

  • Lina

    Hi please help!!!
    We leased by a property management office and the house had a leak and got mold, they fixed the leak we cleaned the carpet because the owner didnt want yo spent money and we have a toddler so i had to. Now we asked if they could
    Please put floors or clean the carpet again because of the smell and they refuse
    Now they want to raise the rent $150
    Is that legal????

  • Delores Roberts

    What is the percentage a landlord can increase the rent annually ?

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