Renting a Home in Miami: Tenant’s Law / Florida Homeowner’s Law

Renting a Home in Miami: Tenant’s Law / Florida Homeowner’s Law

Know your rights under the Tenant / Florida Landlord’s Law. Both the landlord and the tenant must be aware that they have certain rights in a lease that has been established, whether verbal or in writing.

However, they often do not know these rights. When questions related to rights and obligations are raised, you can refer to Chapter 83, Part II of the Florida Statutes, which sets forth the procedures for directing the landlord and tenant to a civil action. This booklet is a summary of the Florida Landlord / Tenant Act. It is not intended to provide legal advice. For additional information not included in this booklet, consumers should be aware of Chapter 83, Part II of the Florida Statutes.

Before Renting

A tenant is one of the parties just like the owner. You do not always have to accept any rental agreement. If possible, take a drive through the unit to identify any problem that needs to be repaired BEFORE signing a rental agreement. Take photos, videos or make notes of any doubtful condition and include provisions for repairs in the rental agreement or in a written document signed by both parties.

The owner may require several deposits as well as some rent payment in advance. These prepayments usually vary by rank. You should be careful about giving any amount of money up front unless you have made the decision to move to the unit. A tenant who pays money in advance, but then decides not to occupy the unit, YOU MAY NOT be entitled to a refund. It should be noted that if a deposit is non-refundable it must be stated in the rental agreement.

Before signing, make sure you fully understand the terms of the agreement. If you do NOT understand, DO NOT sign the contract. There is no grace period granted to cancel a rental agreement, so if you sign it, you are bound by its terms.

Verbal Contracts and Writings

A lease is an agreement to rent a property (commonly known as a lease). Rental agreements can be written or verbal. Most lease agreements are in writing, because verbal agreements can be misunderstood and are difficult to prove, if there is a dispute. A written lease can be a formal contract or simply a copy of a letter indicating the rights and obligations of both the landlord and the tenant.

Florida law requires that notices between landlords and tenants be in writing, and / or be delivered directly in person or by mail, even if the lease is verbal. You should always file a copy of any correspondence sent or received from the owner.

Section 83.46 (2), F.S.
If the lease does not contain any provision as to the duration of the rental, the duration is determined by the periods in which the rent is paid (week by week, month by month, etc.). All other terms are specifically determined by The law or by those who form part of the agreement or contract between you and the owner.

Rental and Deposit Requirements

A damage deposit is the most common requirement of the owners. Before signing a lease, examine the premises and note the damages (for example, broken fixtures) and if possible take a photo and date it. Give a copy to the owner and keep a copy for your records. This can help eliminate or minimize conflicts later.

Section 83.49 (a), F.S.
When vacating the unit by the termination of the lease:

If the landlord does not intend to impose a claim on the security deposit, he / she must return the deposit within fifteen (15) days or,
Within thirty (30) days, he / she must give the tenant a written notice of the amount of the deposit to be deducted and the why. This must be done by registered mail, to the last known address of the tenant.
If this notice is not sent as required, within thirty (30) days, the landlord loses his right to impose a claim on the deposit.
Section 83.49.3 (b) (c), F.S.
After receiving notice from the landlord of intent to impose a claim, the tenant shall have fifteen (15) days to object in writing. If no written objection is received, the landlord may deduct the amount of your claim and remit the balance or balance of the deposit to the tenant within thirty (30) days after the date of the notice of intent to file 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 the court of competent jurisdiction to adjudicate the landlord’s right to the security deposit.

Who is responsible?

You and the landlord share many of the responsibilities in the owner / tenant relationship. The following describes certain responsibilities that correspond to each part. These responsibilities may vary according to your rental agreement and type of home.

Section 83.51 (1) (a) (b), F.S.
The owner’s responsibilities will depend on the type of rented unit. The owner of a single-family home or duplex, at all times during the rental, must:

Comply with the requirements of building, housing and health codes;
Maintaining roof, windows, window guards, floors, stairs, terraces, exterior walls, foundations and all other structural components in good condition, capable of withstanding normal loads or forces;
Keep plumbing in good working order and condition.
The owner’s obligations can be altered or modified in writing when renting a single-family home or duplex.

Section 83.51 (2) (a), F.S.
In addition to providing the above requirements, the owner of a dwelling other than a single-family dwelling or duplex (such as an apartment) shall, at all times, make reasonable arrangements for the extermination of rats, mice, ants, Of wood and bed bugs; Locks and keys; Clean and safe conditions of common areas; Waste disposal and external containers; Operation of the heating installations during the winter, as well as running water and hot water.

This does not mean that the landlord is required to pay utilities, water, fuel or garbage collection, although he / she may choose to do so.

The tenant
Section 83.52, F.S.
The tenant, at all times during the lease, must:

Comply with all codes of construction, housing and health and keep the house clean and hygienic.
Remove trash from the house in a clean and hygienic way.
Keep plumbing fixtures clean and in good repair.
Do not destroy, mutilate, damage, deteriorate or remove any part of the premises or property of the owner, nor allow any person to do so.
Behave and require other persons within the unit to behave in a manner that does not alter without reason or reason the public order of the tenant’s neighbors or that constitute a violation of peace.
Use and operate in a reasonable manner all electrical, hydraulic, sanitary, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and other electrical installations or appliances, including elevators.
Access to the Unit

Section 83-53 (1), F.S.
The tenant can not deny their consent for the owner to enter the unit from time to time, in order to inspect the property.

Section 83.53 (2), F.S.

The owner can enter the unit at any time for the protection or conservation of the facilities.
The landlord may enter the unit upon due notice to the tenant and within a reasonable time for the purpose of repairing the premises. «Reasonable notice» and «reasonable time is defined as twelve (12) hours before entry and in the schedule of 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.
The owner can also enter at any time when:

The tenant is absent from the dwelling for a period of time equal to half the time of the periodic payments of the rent. If the rent payment is up to date and the tenant notifies the landlord of an intended absence, then the landlord can enter only with the tenant’s consent or for the protection or conservation of the facility.
In case of emergency;
The tenant has given his consent;
The tenant irrationally denies giving consent, and / or,
The owner can not abuse the right of access or use it as an excuse to harass the tenant.
Noncompliance with Obligations

If Owner Does Not Meet, Section 83.56 (1), F.S.
The tenant must notify the owner, in writing, by delivery in person or by mail, of breach of legal requirements (Article 83.51 (1)) or supply of material in the rental agreement. The written notice must also state the tenant’s intention to cancel the lease due to such breach. The tenant may cancel the rental agreement if the landlord fails to comply within seven (7) days after delivery of the written notice.

If the Tenant fails to comply, Section 83.56 (2), F.S.
With the exception of non-payment of rent, the landlord must notify the tenant in writing of any perceived non-compliance

If the problem is solvable as outlined in the bylaws, the tenant will have seven (7) days to resolve the problem. If the tenant has not yet served after seven days, the landlord can start the foreclosure eviction process.
If the problem is such that the tenant can not be given the opportunity to be resolved, as outlined in the bylaws, the tenant will have seven days to deliver the unit.

Every eviction case is unique, so be sure to get legal advice. A landlord CAN NOT evict the tenant solely by retaliation, complain to a government agency about code violations, or enforce the rights of other tenants.

Non-Payment of Income, Section 83.56 (3), F.S.
The landlord must give the tenant a written notice of three (3) days, excluding weekends and holidays, for the payment of rent or eviction of the dwelling. If the tenant does not pay rent or evicts, the landlord can take legal action to begin an eviction process.

In order for the landlord to obtain payment of the rent or possession of the home, he / she must file a claim in the county court. The clerk of the county court will send notice of the subpoena to the tenant. The tenant must comply with the requirements indicated in the call within the said period. Failure to comply with these requirements could result in a judgment against you. The county clerk will then issue a «Writ of Possession» to the sheriff, who will notify you that the eviction will take place within 24 hours.

If Owner Does Not Meet, Section 83.60 (1), F.S.
The tenant MAY choose to withhold rent if the landlord does not comply with what the law or what the lease requires. The tenant must notify the owner, in writing, by delivery in person or by mail, of the non-compliance. The written notice must also indicate the intention of the tenant to withhold the payment of the rent, due to said non-compliance. The tenant may withhold rent if the landlord fails to comply within seven (7) days after the delivery of the written notice.

Please note that if these events occur, the landlord can present the tenant with a three-day notice (3) to pay the rent under section 83.56 (3).

Section 83.595, F.S.
In the event of a non-compliance or early termination of the tenant’s rental agreement, potential owner’s resources may include:

Termination of the lease, repossession of the dwelling and termination of any other responsibility of the tenant.
Resume possession of the dwelling, keeping the tenant responsible for the difference between the rent stipulated to be paid under the lease and what the landlord can recover for having ceded the unit.
Wait and do nothing, keep the tenant responsible for the rent that expires.
Section 83.67, F.S.
Florida law does not allow a landlord to force a tenant to leave by:

Interrupting or shutting down the utilities service, even if that service is under the control of the owner or the landlord makes the payment;
Changing locks or using a device that denies access to the tenant;
Removal of exterior doors, locks, ceilings, walls or windows (except for maintenance, repair or replacement), and / or
Removal of tenant’s personal belongings unless the measure is enforced after delivery, abandonment or repossession due to the death of the last tenant remaining in accordance with section 83.59 (3) (d) ), Or after legal eviction.
In any of these cases, the tenant may sue for current damages or for three (3) months of rent, whichever is greater, plus court costs and attorney fees.

When you decide to move

Do not forget to give the required notice as stated in your rental agreement. The following information describes the procedures for proper notification if a specific time period is not included in the rental agreement. Be sure to review your rental agreement for all applicable stipulations when vacating the property

Under certain circumstances, if permitted by the provisions of the rental agreement, a rental agreement may be terminated when either party notifies the other in writing of its intention. The required notice is determined by the rental agreement, if this is not specified in the rental agreement, for the periods in which the rent is paid.

Section 83.57, F.S.
For example, if the rent is paid weekly, seven (7) days in advance is necessary. For monthly rental payments, fifteen (15) days in advance is required. Send all related correspondence of your intentions to the owner, by mail or delivery in person and ask for a receipt. Usually, too, it is a good idea to talk to the owner in person.

When moving from a rental unit, regardless of duration, be sure to settle all accounts. Cancel the public services on the day of departure, notify the owner, post office and others of their change of address and leave the premises in clean conditions. If you can, it is always best to walk the house with the owner and document any damages.

When you decide to move

Section 83.682, F.S.
Florida Statutes state that a member of the service may terminate your rental agreement under certain conditions. For a free copy of the full text of the law, visit www.leg.state.fl.us

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