Florida Rental Laws

Written on January 7, 2013 by , updated on July 21, 2018

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 the tenant receives 75% of the annualized average interest rate, or 5% simple interest each year, dependent upon what the landlord chooses (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: Landlords are not allowed to commingle funds (83.49 (1a-b)).  Landlords are also allowed to post a surety bond (83.49 (1c)).
  • Additional Non-refundable Fees: No Statute, but is typically allowed and customary.
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: Landlords have 15 days to return the deposit if the tenant is due a full refund. If landlords withhold any amount of the deposit, they have 30 days to notify the tenant via certified mail. (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: At the beginning of each period and without demand or notice, unless a different agreement is reached. 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 is between $50 and $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, after the tenant provides written notice to the landlord that repairs are needed. The landlord has 20 days to make necessary repairs before the tenant is able to withhold rent. The tenant must pay the withheld rent once the repairs are made (83.201). 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. The right to attorney fees cannot be waived in the lease agreement. (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(2))
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (83.67(1))
  • 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)).
  • 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 83.64, 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 statewide 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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2,169 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Rob Hoyt

    My move in deal was pay the deposit and get the first two weeks free. I did not get my two weeks free, i keep asking and het the runaround. I have the paper from the internet from the add I answered. I sent him a copy and he said I did not qualify. What can I do ? Thanks Rob

    • Rod k

      Can’t make them what they are unwilling to do, sometimes it’s a do this or I will tell it to the judge type situation. Bring all evidence to court. There is no guarantee of justice, but it’s all our system offers without taking the law into your own hands.

  • HARRIETT CARPENTER

    Hi, Can you tell me if there is a way to get a Tenant out of a lease . The Tenant has a Daycare in my Commercial building. I am now selling my building. The Tenants lease is not up until May 2020. Thank You

    • Rod Kreinbrink

      Hello Harriett.
      You will have to see an attorney to look at the specifics of your situation. No one can tell you about your lease from a blog. What was included, excluded, appropriate by county code… the list go on and on. I find your “problem” interesting since many landlords would like to have an ongoing lease arrangement to any pending buyer. This means that there is income coming into the building and therefore seemingly the building is worth more as a performing asset- verses a non-performing asset. Making it easier to sell, as it would seem. But I am not an attorney, and I am not a realtor. Maybe you are worrying about liability issues of having a daycare inside your building? I would personally.
      Best of luck.

  • Mel

    Hi, I am wondering if landlords need to give you a period of time to decide on renewing your lease? I was given one week to renew a lease four months before the current lease is up. In the 7th day I was told they were showing my apartment the following day. I also was texted 5 times during the week about renewing the lease. I feel harassed and forced to sign my lease because they also said as soon as it went live online I wouldn’t get the same rate. Is this legal in the state of Florida? Thanks!

    • Rodney Kreinbrink

      Actually I have the same problem, but in reverse. The Florida Statutes talk about giving the tenant adequate notice of “notice of non renewal” and renewal given the term of the lease. All good. I have done that within time standards. If I miss those deadlines of notice, then what are the penalties? haven’t found them yet. I did give her a copy of the new contract on the first of April, (almost identical to the old one) with her contract is up on May 1st. On the 26th of April, still no signature. Do I text them more than twice? How many phone calls is harassment? Finally, I texted her a third time that if you do not sign by the 30th of April, I am putting signs up in the yard, and advertising. On the 30th, she signed.

  • Peter

    I was renting a townhouse to a young couple, who moved out 10 months before the lease was due to terminate, because termites were in one bedroom of the nearly 2,000 sqft unit. They did not request to vacate temporarily with the rent abatement, constructive eviction and refused to grant me the opportunity to use pesticides because the wife was pregnant and they were concerned about the use of pesticides in the home because of concerns for the unborn baby.
    The couple has was not pregnant when they signed the lease extension, but my applications do not change because somebody becomes pregnant anyhow, as I understand.
    So what would you think my remedies are? Thank you

    • Rodney Kreinbrink

      Hello Peter. Yours is a complex problem. Obviously you have read the Florida Statutes by the text of your written paragraph. From a third party observer though, they make a powerful argument that may swing the consciousness of the courts. The only thing that you did not mention is when did the bed bugs appear and were the renters deemed responsible for the infestation. Does your contract hold them liable for an infestation, if there was none apparent at the time of move in? You will need to see a competent landlord attorney on those issues, and not just a blog opinion. What does the contract stipulate, and what was in writing from the tenants, etc. These things can not be answered from a blog. Please see an attorney. Rk

  • Stella

    Hello,

    My building and common areas of my apartment have been smelling like weed since November 2018. I have made complaints about it and the property manager said they were working on it. Within the last two months, our entire apartment smelled of weed. I am pregnant and made a big issue over it. The property manager determined it was coming from the people below us. They were served with a notice to cure and then an eviction notice. They claimed that it wasn’t them and the complex’s attorney asked me to testify. The problem continued for another week, I gave a notice to withhold until the problem is fixed. The property manager said the attorney is probably going to make us pay or evict, since “they are working on the problem”.

  • Roberto Torres

    I am in the process of a legal eviction because the tenants continue to drive their vehicles on my lawn. There is no driving or parking on the lawn and I have provided notice of non-compliance with 7 days to cure. The tenants have never complied. I have followed the proper steps in giving notices. Do you think I have a solid case? One attorney said the judge may award me the cost for repairing the yard but allowing them to stay. What do you think? Thank you.

  • Roberto Torres

    I am in the process of a legal eviction because the tenants continue to drive their vehicles on my lawn. There is no driving or parking on the lawn, and I have provided notice of non-compliance with 7 days to cure. The tenants have never complied. I have followed the proper steps in giving notices. Do you think I have a solid case? One attorney said the judge may award me the cost for repairing the yard but allowing them to stay. What do you think? Thank you.

  • Angela Barickman

    Landlord sold our duplex and gave us 30 days to vacate. We are in the center of where hurricane Michael hit needless to say rentals are far and few between. The property won’t be closed on until it is vacant. By law can we be forced out when 30 days is up? We are looking everywhere with no luck. I just don’t want to come home with a padlock on the door!

    • Rodney Kreinbrink

      You did not say anything about “contract” did you? Go read section 83 of the Florida statutes. go to “myflorida.com” and select legislature and then the florida statutes. There you can start to bone up on chapter 83, given its a residential rental. Oh, you want an answer? Then go see an attorney.

  • Sophie Austin

    In case the tension of the daily life is overpowering you, use a relaxing activity. Establishing apart a while daily to savor your activity can assist you de-stress from the working day. Practitioners typically advocate taking up a pastime to patients who may have problems with anxiousness. Your interest will obvious away the unfavorable and help you loosen up.

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  • Phill

    Off Lease, gave 15 day notice, charging for 30

    Year lease ended March 13, 2019. I gave notice of leave on April 12 and landlord tried to get into my apartment after I left with no 12 hour notice. Inspection is the 1st Wednesday of every month.
    They signed the paper work on April 16. They are charging me another full month of rent to May 16. Am I protected under the Tenancy At Will of Florida 83.04 and 83.57 giving 15 day notice rather than a full 30? I am not signed under any lease or month to month with them.

  • Nelly

    I received a letter from the office that they will increase my rent. I’m in the middle of my year lease. Another thing. What is that I’m forced to pay for cable bill. They said is included but they charge for cable separately. I don’t watch tv at all. So why is this I’m forced to pay for? that and why increase rental? So I can leave the apartment broken the lease too with a simple letter like they sent As tenant. ?

    • Rodney Kreinbrink

      Nelly, I am not an attorney and can not give legal advice. In your case, I think the best place to start is to go read your contract and review exactly what it says- not what you heard or otherwise. Once you read that information, you can go down to the managements office, or whoever and state the contract word for word, and try to work it out before it has to go to an attorney. You should review chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes. Also, you never did say when they were going to raise your rent. Was it after the contract is over? or next month. This is why reading the contract is so important. Best of Luck.

  • Paul

    My husband and I gave a 30 day notice that we are moving. We did not have the full rent but were able to pay $250. If they cash that check will they still evict us as we have never been late?

  • micheal

    Hey I’m kind of in a rut here. Im renting a mobile home that my ex roommate owns. She recently out it up for sale and hasn’t told me nothing about it. I’ve been living here for 2 years 1 year of that she lived here with my girlfriend and I. Can she legally do that and not tell me about it?

  • micheal

    Hey I’m kind of in a rut here. Im renting a mobile home that my ex roommate owns. She recently put it up for sale and hasn’t told me nothing about it. Her sister messaged my girlfriend saying the trailer was being sold the next day and that I needed to get out. I’ve been living here for 2 years 1 year of that she lived here with my girlfriend and I. We have a paper which states that we live here and are helping pay rent since 2017. Can she legally kick us out when I have a paper saying that i reside here and she failed to give us any notice?

  • Denise Amill

    I live in Orange County FL, My apartment complex was sold and the new owners won’t renew my lease without a cosigner, they said if I don’t get a cosigner I have to be out by May 31, 2019. Is this legal? I didn’t plan on moving and my rent is paid to date.

  • Denise Amill

    I live in Orange County FL, My apartment complex was sold and the new owners won’t renew my lease without a cosigner, they said if I don’t get a cosigner I have to be out by May 31, 2019. Is this legal? I didn’t plan on moving and my rent is paid to date.

  • Mrs Sarran

    Hi I have a house in Kendal Miami i rent it to a family for couple years they had a years lease and then I did not have them sign a lease so the live with out a lease they were pretty good with paying there rent then for one year a lot of excuses and I had to have them evicted just to find out they were sub lease my house and raised money to buy there house I did not get around to take them to court bc I lived in New York and I was going through a rough time with hurricane sandy I lost a lot so I got a maintenance company every thing was fine until last year the company started to skip out on the rent a lot of excuses I got 7 months in one year now got 2019 the last rent I got was February so I would like to know what law out there to me byyou

  • Renee

    We moved into a home that we are renting for 1200. There’s really no upgrades and the house has plumbing problems and gnat issues. The property has the sheds in the back. One that has the tons of tools and miscellaneous items we are currently not using. The other shed had some other items that were here before we moved in that belonged to our landlord as well as some of our stuff that wouldn’t fit into the first shed. Our last home was way bigger than this house but my landlord seems to think the house is big enough why are we using botH sheds? Well the landlord came over wanting to show some random people the shed. Is he aloud to rent that shed out to other people while we are living on the property?

  • Renee

    We moved into a home that we are renting for 1200 a month. There’s really no upgrades and the house has plumbing problems and gnat issues. The property has 2 sheds in the back. One that has the tons of tools my tools and miscellaneous items we are currently not using. The other shed had some other items that were here before we moved in that belonged to our landlord as well as some of our stuff that wouldn’t fit into the first shed. Our last home was way bigger than this house but my landlord seems to think the house is big enough why are we using both sheds? Well the landlord came over wanting to show some random people the shed. Is he aloud to rent that shed out to other people while we are living on the property?

  • Renee

    We moved into a home that we are renting for 1200 a month. There’s really no upgrades and the house has plumbing problems and gnat issues. The property has 2 sheds in the back. One that has the tons of tools my tools and miscellaneous items we are currently not using. The other some items that were here before we moved in that belonged to our landlord as well as some of our stuff that wouldn’t fit into the first shed.
    Our last home was way bigger than this house but my landlord seems to think the house is big enough why are we using both sheds?
    Well the landlord came over wanting to show some random people the shed.
    Is he aloud to rent that shed out to other people while we are living on the property?

  • Renee

    can our landlord rent a shed out to some random person with us living on the property

    • Rodney Kreinbrink

      Hello Renee. I must tell you that I am not an attorney, nor can give legal advice in that nature. Your answer that you are looking for is relatively simple in nature, in my opinion. Read your contract. What does the contract say? Is the shed specifically included inside the contract for you to use, or is it outside the contract. does your lease talk about detached buildings on the property? Your mistake is to not have such an attribute in writing. How much space is allocated? Is the space marked with masking tape, etc. You will need this as a defense to accusations of theft and any breaking and entering charges that might arise if the agreement is not in writing. This is just my opinion. I hope this helps. Best of luck.

      • Renee

        It’s a contact his son had us make up that doesn’t speak anything of anything except when rent is due and where the property is located. The landlord just purchased the property and wasn’t even in the country when we moved in. He had his son handling everything until he got back.

  • Matt Hruby

    Hello, I have a word document stating that for four months I am renting an RV site from a couple and it has no termination clause or anything of importance other than saying their names and our names and this is what we are paying for the next four months rent. Am I able to get out of this with a 15 day notice without any type of repercussions in Florida since there is nothing about termination or anything? Thanks for your time

  • RODRIGO MATIAS

    Hi! I live in Melbourne, Florida, a structural pipe broke during the night and my apartment (rental) flooded with 4″ of water. My furniture and some electronics are damaged. The property says that they wont cover replacement – only cleaning.
    I don’t have insurance, but I am sure the landlord has because they own a few buildings.
    I made videos of the incident and damages.

    Is this something you can help me with?

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