Florida Rental Laws

Last updated on May 30, 2017 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

Details

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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1,532 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Renee

    I am a long term (8 years) tenant and my lease is until July 2018 my landlord is telling me she is raising my rent in 30 days because her expenses have gone up. I thought purpose of lease was to protect from increase until it expires. She tells me that the lease says rent can be raised if her expenses go up? I’m trying to find lease from 8 years ago. What’s point of lease if it can be raised anytime? Is this legal? I can’t afford increase at this time and after 8 years will most likely leave as I feel that this landlord is dishonorable. FYI this is a different owner from when I first moved in my original landlord was very honorable.

    • Dan Hunter

      Hi Renee, I’m not an attorney but if this were my problem I would ask landlord for a copy of the lease. If you get a copy, read it and abide by it. If he/she can’t produce a lease and you don’t have a copy, you will have to negotiate. Good luck !

    • Rod Kreinbrink

      Renee. I am not an attorney, and you should seek legal advice in this matter. That said, I have repeatedly re-read your email to understand that you have been renting for 8 years, but the current lease expires in July 2018. Then you say later that you are trying to find the lease from 8 years ago. If this is true, and that you had a lease that spanned 8 years, I would re-read it to see if that the rent could be raised. Also, do you have a valid lease? Ask the attorney: “Does any rental contract signed for a period of two years or more need two signed witnesses in Florida?” Do you have two witnesses signed in your rental agreement? I believe I know the answer, but you need to review this with an attorney. Best Regards

      • Renee

        When I moved in 8 years ago there was a different owner and as I said he was a very good landlord and honorable. He sold condo and now I have a different landlord and on top of her raising rent because her expenses have gone up she says she is selling which with her is a whole other nightmare. My daughter graduates next year which is my only reason for having stayed. Anyway I don’t see what the point of a lease is if this can be done. I can’t lower my rent because my expenses have gone up. I’m trying to be cordial with this mess but I don’t know if I can fight this. I’m a single mother of 4. My old landlord even lowered rent for a year while I was in school. This one only raises it. I don’t know what to do.

        • Rod Kreinbrink

          Renee, you need to see an attorney to review your situation. You may have a valid lease, and you may not.
          I would either call a local attorney who offers free consultation on these issues. real estate attorneys..etc.
          Or if that fails then call the local bar association in your area and ask them about a reduced rate with a bar association referral. They usually run about $75.00 or so for the referral. They give you a real discounted rate for any participating attorney. No one else can, nor will do this for you. You must just do it. You need solid advice on you situation. Remember to take all contracts and any other information related to this case with you for the referral. Best Wishes.

          • Renee

            Thank you. I will let you know what happens. Whether legal or not this is dishonorable. I can’t break my lease, she shouldn’t be able to either.

            • Renee

              Gentlemen, I was able to find lease and landlord is using clause 16 as her basis to raise rent before lease expires in July 2018. Please share any understanding…
              CHANGE OF TERMS: The terms and conditions of this agreement are subject to future change by OWNER after the expiration of the agreed lease period upon 30 day written notice setting forth such change and delivered to RESIDENT. Any changes are subject to laws in existence at the time of the Notice of Change of Terms.
              To me “after the expiration of the agreed lease period” means after July 31, 2018 which is when my lease expires? Please give thoughts on this clause. Thank you all for your time and interest. Renee

              • Rod Kreinbrink

                I should start using verbage such as this. No one could make heads or tails of it, and even if you did understand what it says- it says nothing.

              • Dan Hunter

                Hi Renee, Although I’m not an atty. most courts hold the one that draws up the agreement to suffer because of any ambiguities or fuzzy wording. I defeated a local bank in small claims court with this technicality. If I were you I would send the usual amount of rent and if she takes you to court I would fight the case. If you multiply the amount of rent raise by 12, you will quickly determine that it is a small claim, thus no lawyers. If landlord keeps your deposit I would sue for it. I hope you keep us posted on this. It’s an interesting case. Good luck !!!

              • Rod Kreinbrink

                He Renee, I agree with Dan in this regard. I would see an attorney to protect all of your rights, but other than that if this happened to me I would send the regular rent amount on time. If anything is said, I would say that I have a contract. This then puts the onus upon the landlord. Best of luck Renee.

              • Renee

                CHANGE OF TERMS: The terms and conditions of this agreement are subject to future change by OWNER after the expiration of the agreed lease period upon 30 day written notice setting forth such change and delivered to RESIDENT. Any changes are subject to laws in existence at the time of the Notice of Change of Terms.

                This is what LL is telling me now…
                Lease for 2013 clause 16 for 30 day change of Terms after original lease. Each year after we signed extensions.

                So I guess in her mind signed extension of lea series is not legally binding?
                Any thoughts on this? It looks like I will be headed to court or pay increase. I am betwixt and between.

              • Dan Hunter

                Hi Renee, You need to show your lease and extensions to a REAL ESTATE attorney. Good Luck to you on this.

              • Rod Kreinbrink

                This is the problem when someone relates a situation over the net. Renee, you did not tell us that you had signed extension’s of the original lease on a yearly basis. Now you do. Go see an Real Estate attorney. Let them look at what you signed, and any other pertinent information that you may not be talking about here. This all matters to your predicament.

              • Renee

                Thank you again gentlemen. Until I received text today I didn’t realize there was any difference. I came to Florida from colorado after 23 years of marriage with nothing but my 4 children and what fit in the back of my car. I hadn’t worked all those years I was stay at home mom. I worked as a waitress and went to school. I am a medical assistant in an oncology practice. Don’t know why I’m telling you this but I’ve worked hard with the help of my oldest sons (twins) to get by. God bless them they have done everything to see that their sister went to a good school. It was quite a culture shock. I am hard working and honorable and feel this is very dishonorable and, well I’ll try legal aid. Thank you again.

              • Rod Kreinbrink

                Hi Renee. If you can not find a real estate attorney who offers a “free consultation” then contact the local bar association to where you live. They have a program in which the referred attorney agrees to accept a reduced fee (usually $75.00 up to an hour) to anyone who uses the bar association referrals. The bar association will verify the referral upon request from the attorney. God bless you Renee, and remember: the day you stop fighting for your rights, is the day you lose. See the attorney to review your situation and know your rights. Your landlord may be correct, however just don’t agree just out of weakness. Its worth the sleep at night to get a review. Best Regards.

              • Misti Grant

                Renee, if you continued to sign extensions annually of existing lease as opposed to a NEW lease with new verbiage and you’re not currently up for renewal of the existing extension to the original lease, she can’t increase rent until which time as it expires according to that clause. I would possibly consult legal advice from Florida Legal Aid Lawyers if you can’t afford an attorney. Good Luck, but a previous landlord, I’m certain she’s bound by her own terminology.

  • Julie

    I rented a home since Sept 2014. After the first year I received a letter indicating a rent increase. We agreed and signed the letter. After the second year everything was verbal. During that year or house had A/C issues and leaking roof, which fell in onto our bed June 2016 & April 2017. The A/C was replaced in June 2016. Between Then & April 2017 I had to contact the landlord regarding issues with the A/C over 25 times. In April 2017 after many A/C and roof issues I discussed some type of compensation. The response I received was “consider this a 30 Day notice. Look for somewhere else to live “. He claimed it was nothing personal, the market is prime for selling. I just found out the home is listed for rent – is this legal?

    • Rod Kreinbrink

      Hello Julie. Given that I am not an attorney, Please go to myflorida.com then select government, then legislative. then to the right middle click on view Florida statutes. Go to section 83. residential tenancies. specifically sections 83.51 Landlord’s obligation to maintain premises. Interestingly enough it talks about structures like the roof, but what about an air conditioner? Then look to 83.57 Termination of tenancy without specific term. No contract situation. And then you may want to look at retaliatory conduct, specifically section 83.64 You may just want to move on if this landlord, and rental is that bad. If vacating, be sure to take pictures of the home for damage assessment. Best regards.

    • Misti Grant

      No it’s not legal… it’s called landlord retaliation and it’s illegal.

      • Rod Kreinbrink

        Hi Mistie. It helps everyone to show exactly what you are referring to:

        http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0083/Sections/0083.64.html

        Interesting question though: The issue of complaint was centered around an air conditioner. An air conditioner is not listed under the owners requirements to maintain, as far as I can see. Its not structure. So you can rent a home without an air conditioner? And how many times must you fix it to show good faith? Also, what if the renter does not use filters and is the cause of the problem? Is a landlord required to fix something that broke through negligence of the renter?

      • Kathryn

        I just found out our landlord is raising our rent to 625 dollars I signed my lease 3 months ago and it states I pay 625 I live in Ocala FL is this legal I have a year lease so can someone help me with this please

        • Misti Grant

          If you signed it and it says $625 he can’t raise it til the year is up.

        • Rod Kreinbrink

          Hello Kathryn. About the amount of the rent, what does the contract say about rent charges? Does it say that rent could increase in 3 months? and how long is the contract for?

  • Kim

    When I leased my apartment I was paid a non refundable “pet fee”. Pretty common and I am used to paying pet deposits and fees. The apartment community has received scathing reviews and complaints in the past few months about tenants be charged/overcharged for various items after they leave. So I had a discussion with the management. I was told that the “pet fee” didn’t cover any cleaning or damage repair – it was just a “fee” that allowed me to have my dog. I asked the purpose of this fee – what is the money used for. The answer I received: The opportunity to have a dog. I also pay $15/mo rental addition for my dog. Is this legal?

    • Dan Hunter

      Hi Kim, I’m not an attorney but if I were in your shoes, I would sue them in small claims court and let the judge decide what is legal and what is not. However, I would def, take a credible witness to hear them tell you that you are not getting any credit for the pet fee. They should have told you that in the beginning. It would not surprise me if the judge has them refund pet fee in addition to the extra $15 per month that you paid.

  • Vicky

    I have a 7 month lease in the state of Florida, my lease is up on 6-30-17. My question is, how long do I have to vacate the property? The owner sent me a email on 5/31 asking to renew the lease for $1200 or month to month @ $1250 and if I do not renew it will be considered a month to month, which is fine. Then I get another email on 6/13 stating I have to move out on 6/30. This email to vacate only came after I complained about the conditions of the house, which the owner promised to fix since last 12/2016, she said she would do the repairs if I sign a lease. Now today 6/14, I asked what was going on with these two options and the owner said she is selling the house. So how long do I have legally?

  • Marie

    Hi, I rented a room in a home in Fort Lauderdale soon to be 1 yr and just found out it is will be on foreclosure auction in 2 weeks. Do you think I should pay rent for July? The property is also leaking and I told him and he said he would have somebody to come and look at it. The landlord lives in another state, bare in mind they have not told me any of this, I found out on my own. Must I confront them pertaining to the auction and not pay rent and tell them I will be moving?

    • Dan Hunter

      Hi Marie, If you continue to live there Marie, you should pay your rent. It’s just a matter of common decency. However, I would only pay the rent up to the auction date. At that point your rent will be paid to the new owner. At that time the new owner will get in touch with you. Good luck .

      • Marie

        I was planning to wait until the auction is over to see if the place will be sold or not before I pay them anymore rent as it is due first week of July. Or will the bank take it over fully if it is not sold in the auction?

    • Rod Kreinbrink

      If the home goes to the foreclosure sale, it does not necessarily be a bank. The property has to be listed, and sold at auction through the court system. If there is any residual, then those money’s go back to the original owner. The Florida Statutes have a chapter on evictions given a forclosure. You should read over chapter 83 to get a understanding of the process. Go to my florida.com and select legislative section. Then on the right middle side select “read florida laws online” and go to chapter 83. Best of luck Marie.

  • Denise Watkins

    Hi . My daughter rents an apartment in ormond beach and her lease ends in October . S h e just recently found out that if she wants to transfer to a different apartment with more room she would have to pay 400.00 , plus a security deposit, plus 1 month’s rent In advance . She then asked if she just decides to renew her lease in the same apartment she will still have to pay the 400.00 , plus security, plus one month rent In advance !!! Dies this even souND legal f I r an apartment complex with over 300 units ???

    • Rod Kreinbrink

      Sure. Given that it not a rent control district, or any attributes such as this. While I am not an attorney, I do not know of any law within the State of Florida that LIMITS an landlord of their right to ask for a damage deposit, first, or last months rent in advance -among other things such as credit history, no pets, (except service animals) and no history of evictions. I personally would like to know in what manner does your daughter pay only $400.00 a month rent? What type of scenario does this play into? I ask you this as a single wide within my control is going to be $800.00 a month next year, to which the renter has already agreed to pay-not including utilities.

  • Sal

    Help. I am currently renting my home (FL) that is jointly owned with my X and I and it is up for sale, Have had showings but tenants always demand to be home for the showings due to the pets they have,The tenants are there since April 1st, How do I get them to not be home for showings? We (X and I) agreed the house has to be sold so what can I do and the tenants have a 1 yr lease. And how do I break lease and protect myself and also do right by tenants? Thank You!

    • Rod Kreinbrink

      Hello Sal. While I am not an attorney, and can not give you legal advice. That being said, you SHOULD NOT be intent upon breaking any lease agreement with your renter. You will not longer have clean hands in the eyes of the court. However, the Florida Statutes do allow you certain rights upon selling the home. chapter 83. – Residential property.

      http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0083/Sections/0083.53.html

      Any perspective buyer should know about and honor any existing rental contracts, and the buyer should receive all renters deposits that you should have in a segregated account. Please read up on chapter 83 to know your rights, and obligations.
      Best Regards

      • Sal

        Yes I am not looking for having dirty hands at all by any means but just want to know how and what I can do to have things go very smooth but the home needs to be sold due to a divorce, Thanks for the tip, I understand you are not an attorney

        • Dan Hunter

          Hi Sal, If this were my problem I would offer them $1,000 commission to help me sell the house and release me from the lease. I would gently remind them that in a few short months their lease will mature anyway and they will have to move because you have no intention of extending their lease. This is why I use month to month leases.

  • Britney

    I’ve been renting a home for the past 8 years, and the previous owner did not have their carpet changed. So the carpet hasn’t been changed in 8+ years. Now that I am moving, my landlord is trying to charge me for carpet fees and, replacement. Can that happen?

    • Dan Hunter

      Hi Britney, When you rent a unit, a certain amount of reasonable wear and tear on the premises (including the carpeting) is included in the rent. I would not agree to pay anything and if he keeps your security deposit you can always sue in small claims court for it.

    • Rod Kreinbrink

      Hi Britney, You have run into a problem that lots of renters face. Landlords who want to charge the tenant for things that can and due wear out over a period of years. So lets talk about carpets. While from the landlords perspective, a renter who stains the carpet while under contract might be held responsible for those stains given that they remain after a good carpet cleaning. How was the carpet upon the contract signing? Any pictures to prove existing stains? Now the carpet has a wear guarantee. If its Nylon its usually 20 years, or if its polyester its usually 10 years. Ask the owner for a copy of the receipt to prove its installation date. They probably will not provide it. See next paragraph.

    • Rod Kreinbrink

      Britney continued. It would not surprise me that the landlord will just keep the damage deposit money as a result of the stains. You very may have to go to small claims court to get the judge to decide how long the carpet should last. File a motion after the filing to produce the receipt. I would take pictures right now of any damage that seems apparent. Do not be surprised when the landlord comes to court with more damages than he first acknowledged. I would get a copy of the wear guarantee from Lowes or HD and show that to the landlord. Has the warrantee expired for the carpet? Try to reason with them. Although I will say that any carpet can last easily for 20 years id people just take their shoes off, but no one does.

    • Rod Kreinbrink

      Britney last paragraph. And Britney, you have not talked about pets, or anything like that which can complicate the issue. Did you have a cat who has peed through the carpet and into the cement? Tore up the carpet for any reason which goes beyond the “wear and tear” issue? When things go beyond the nature of “wear and tear,” it looks bad on the renter.
      Best regards.

      • Natasha J

        Hi Rod and Britney! I have a similar issue. I just signed a lease. The carpet in the townhome is awful (frayed, stained, worn). There is even a cut-out where the have removed old carpet and laid down a square of newer carpet in a corner. The property manager is giving me a hard time about carpet replacement. I am considering contacting the owner with pictures (he lives out of state). Any advice to get the landlord to replace the clearly dated and damaged carpet?

        • Rod Kreinbrink

          Hi Natasha. You really can’t demand a new carpet replacement at this time because you accepted the carpet in its condition when you moved in. As long as it is clean and does not pose a health hazard, then I do not see an angle. Please take pictures of the carpets condition, and try to get an admonition in writing about the carpet from the property manager or owner. You will need this evidence for later. 1 year goes quick. I would make a demand that the carpet needs to be replaced (wherever) or else you would seek renting elsewhere. Also demand the next contracts monthly charge in renting , in advance. Landlords love to increase the rent to compensate for the cost of new carpet. I know I do. Best Regards.

        • Dan Hunter

          Hi Natasha, Some states (including Michigan) require landlords to do repairs on residential rentals. If you have no compunctions when it comes to starting a hair pulling contest with the landlord, you could withhold the rent until the carpet is replaced. You might win or you could lose the case. But one thing is certain : you will make an enemy out of the landlord. It all depends on how badly you want the carpet.

          • Rod Kreinbrink

            Hi Dan. Carpet is not structural. Maybe in Michigan there is something within the law, but I have found nothing in the Florida Statutes. Florida statute on owners right to maintain premises link is below.

            http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0083/Sections/0083.51.html

            Rodk.

            • Dan Hunter

              Hi Rod, thanks for the info regarding carpet repairs and replacement. I have had building inspectors “require” new carpeting but I never challenged their authority on this particular issue. The landlord business became so over regulated by vote chasing, liberal politicians that, after 41 years, I walked away from it. However, I enjoy learning about that business in Fl. I’m happy to learn that Fl. is not nearly as over regulated as Michigan. They over regulate us out of business and then complain that us honest and hard working landlords are just slumlords.

              • Francisco R

                Hi,

                I was renting an apartment for 2yrs and they are trying to keep the deposit plus charge me for replacing carpets since they were 2yr old (it says nothing about stains and there were none) and replacing stove which was working perfectly and we cleaned it and it was practically new.

  • Dan Hunter

    Hi Francisco, I’m not an attorney but if I were in your position I would take three photographs of the carpet and also the stove. I would enclose a photo for the judge to see, when you start your lawsuit in small claims court, one photo for the defendant and one for your own records. I would also write a brief and business like letter to the judge describing the situation and file the letter along with the photos with the lawsuit papers. I would send copies of the letter and pictures to the defendant. Also enclose a copy of your lease for the judge to review. Make sure and take any witnesses to court with you. Chances are the defendant will mail you a check and not even fight the case. Always be polite ! Good Luck !

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