If a rental property in Florida fails to meet legally required health and safety standards, tenants have the right to report their landlord to local public officials who may choose to follow up, inspect the property and cite the landlord for such violations.
What Are Considered Unsafe Living Conditions in Florida?
In Florida, unsafe living conditions exist when a rental property doesn’t have safe and working:
- Heating (in winter).
- Hot water.
- Garbage removal.
- Common areas.
- Smoke alarms.
A landlord’s direct or indirect interruption of utility services may qualify as an unsafe condition, along with any other issue that substantially impacts health and safety on a property.
What Should Tenants Do Before Reporting a Violation in Florida?
In most cases, before reporting a violation, a tenant in Florida must notify the landlord in writing about the issue and ask him to fix it within seven days.
How Can Tenants Report a Violation in Florida?
Tenants in Florida should report violations to the local office or officers responsible for housing code enforcement. The exact process depends on municipality.
|Jacksonville||Municipal Code Compliance Division (MCCD)||Online Form|
|Miami||Miami Code Compliance||Call (305) 416-2087 or email|
|Tampa||Tampa Code Enforcement||Online Form|
Florida does not allow anonymous complaints. After receiving a complaint, an inspecting officer might contact the tenant for more information. Then the officer will usually inspect the property and cite the landlord for any code violations.
How Can a Tenant Report a Health or Safety Violation in Jacksonville?
A tenant in Jacksonville can report a health or safety violation by calling the Municipal Code Compliance Division at (904) 630-2489 or using the MyJax online form. The MyJax site requires account registration. Enter location and contact information, a description of the problem, and contact information before submitting.
How Can a Tenant Report a Health or Safety Violation in Miami?
A tenant in Miami can report a health or safety violation by calling Code Compliance at (305) 416-2087 or by emailing a complaint. Include address, time of incident, the landlord’s name, a description of the problem, and the type of violation.
How Can a Tenant Report a Health or Safety Violation in Tampa?
A tenant in Tampa can report a health or safety violation using the online form provided by Tampa Code Enforcement. Enter contact information and the address of the property, then describe the complaint and submit. Many issues will fall under the “Other” checkbox.
What Could Happen to a Landlord After a Complaint Is Made in Florida?
After a tenant files a complaint about unsafe living conditions in Florida, an officer may inspect the property. The landlord must fix noted code violations, within a maximum of 30 days. Otherwise, the landlord could be fined and the local government might file to condemn the property.
- 1 Fla. Stat. §83.51(1) (2022)
“The landlord at all times during the tenancy shall: (a) Comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes; or (b) Where there are no applicable building, housing, or health codes, maintain the roofs, windows, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads and the plumbing in reasonable working condition. The landlord, at commencement of the tenancy, must ensure that screens are installed in a reasonable condition. Thereafter, the landlord must repair damage to screens once annually, when necessary, until termination of the rental agreement. …The landlord’s obligations under this subsection may be altered or modified in writing with respect to a single-family home or duplex.”Source Link
- 2 Fla. Stat. §83.51(2)(a) (2022)
“Unless otherwise agreed in writing, in addition to the requirements of subsection (1), the landlord of a dwelling unit other than a single-family home or duplex shall, at all times during the tenancy, make reasonable provisions for: 1. The extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants, wood-destroying organisms, and bedbugs. When vacation of the premises is required for such extermination, the landlord is not liable for damages but shall abate the rent. The tenant must temporarily vacate the premises for a period of time not to exceed 4 days, on 7 days’ written notice, if necessary, for extermination pursuant to this subparagraph. 2. Locks and keys. 3. The clean and safe condition of common areas. 4. Garbage removal and outside receptacles therefor. 5. Functioning facilities for heat during winter, running water, and hot water.”Source Link
- 3 Fla. Stat. § 83.67(1) (2022)
“A landlord of any dwelling unit governed by this part shall not cause, directly or indirectly, the termination or interruption of any utility service furnished the tenant, including, but not limited to, water, heat, light, electricity, gas, elevator, garbage collection, or refrigeration, whether or not the utility service is under the control of, or payment is made by, the landlord.”Source Link
- 4 Fla. Stat. § 83.56(1) (2022)
“If the landlord materially fails to comply with s. 83.51(1) or material provisions of the rental agreement within 7 days after delivery of written notice by the tenant specifying the noncompliance and indicating the intention of the tenant to terminate the rental agreement by reason thereof, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement. If the failure to comply with s. 83.51(1) or material provisions of the rental agreement is due to causes beyond the control of the landlord and the landlord has made and continues to make every reasonable effort to correct the failure to comply, the rental agreement may be terminated or altered by the parties.”Source Link
- 5 Fla. Stat. § 162.21(3)(b) (2022)
“A code enforcement officer may not initiate an investigation of a potential violation of a duly enacted code or ordinance by way of an anonymous complaint. A person who reports a potential violation of a code or an ordinance must provide his or her name and address to the respective local government before an investigation may occur. This paragraph does not apply if the code enforcement officer has reason to believe that the violation presents an imminent threat to public health, safety, or welfare or imminent destruction of habitat or sensitive resources.”Source Link
- 6 Fla. Stat. § 162.21(3)(c) (2022)
“Prior to issuing a citation, a code enforcement officer shall provide notice to the person that the person has committed a violation of a code or ordinance and shall establish a reasonable time period within which the person must correct the violation. Such time period shall be no more than 30 days.”Source Link