Florida Landlord Tenant Rights

Florida Landlord Tenant Rights

Last Updated: April 30, 2024 by Roberto Valenzuela

Under Florida law, if a written or oral rental agreement exists, or if payment is accepted as rent, landlords and tenants have rights and responsibilities under FL Statutes Chapter 83 Part II, such as the right to timely rent payments and a livable dwelling.

Note: Florida does allow renters to agree, in writing, that they take on some landlord responsibilities. This writing can be in a written lease or a separate agreement. These rights cannot be waived through any verbal agreement.

Landlord Responsibilities for Habitability on iPropertyManagement.com

Landlord Responsibilities in Florida

In Florida, landlords legally can’t rent property out unless it meets basic health and safety requirements. Here is a list of amenities and how they relate to Florida’s habitability requirements:

Item Has to Provide? Has to Fix/Replace?
Heating/AC Only Heating Only Heating
Hot Water Yes Yes
Kitchen Appliances No No
Garbage Containers/Removal Partially Partially
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors Only Smoke Only Smoke
Mold N/A Yes
Pest Control N/A Yes

If a property doesn’t provide the legally required amenities for habitable housing, a tenant can usually report the landlord to government authorities for unsafe living conditions.

Read more

Renter’s Rights for Repairs in Florida

Landlords are required to make necessary repairs in a timely manner. In Florida, repairs must be made within seven days of written notice sent by the tenant.

If repairs aren’t made in a timely manner, Florida tenants can end the lease, or sue for a court order to force the landlord to make repairs. Tenants aren’t allowed to withhold rent, or repair and deduct the cost from the rent.

Read more

Tenant Responsibilities on iPropertyManagement.com

Tenant Responsibilities in Florida

Beyond paying rent in a timely manner and not causing excessive property damage, Florida tenants are responsible for:

  • Maintaining the unit in a safe, habitable condition.
  • Keeping their part of the rental unit clean and sanitary (including removing garbage).
  • Keeping all fixtures, such as plumbing and electrical, clean and sanitary, and using them in a reasonable manner.
  • Not unreasonably disturbing neighbors or breaching the peace.
  • Not destroying or damaging any part of the premises.

Evictions in Florida

Florida landlords can begin the eviction process for any of the following reasons:

  • Failure To Pay Rent: If rent is late (the day after it’s due, unless the lease states otherwise), a landlord may give the tenant a written 3-Day Notice To Pay. 
  • No Lease / End of Lease Term: If the lease period has ended or the tenant has no lease, a landlord may serve the tenant with a written lease termination notice depending on the type of tenancy.
    • Week-to-Week: 7-Day Notice To Quit.
    • Month-to-Month: 30-Day Notice To Quit.
    • Quarterly: 30-Day Notice To Quit.
    • Year-to-Year: 60-Day Notice To Quit.
  • Violation of Lease Terms: If the tenant does not uphold both their responsibilities under the lease and their obligations under landlord tenant law, a landlord may give the tenant either a written 7-Day Notice To Cure or Vacate (if it is a curable violation) or a 7-Day Unconditional Quit Notice (if the violation cannot be cured).

However, “self help” evictions are illegal (for example, a landlord changing the locks themselves). Florida also protects tenants from landlord retaliation, which includes some types of evictions. A landlord can’t evict a tenant for taking certain protected actions like reporting a property’s code violations.

Read more

Security Deposits in Florida

Collections and Holdings: The following laws apply to the collection and holding of security deposits:

  • Maximum: None.
  • Inventory Requirement: Landlords are not required to document the condition of the rental unit at the start of the lease term in order to collect security deposits.
  • Holding Requirement: Landlords must hold security deposits in an interest-bearing or non-interest-bearing account, or post a surety bond.
  • Interest Requirement: Landlords are not required to provide interest unless they choose to hold the security deposits in an interest-bearing account.

Florida also implements a program where a tenant can agree to pay a potentially nonrefundable monthly fee in order to avoid having to provide a security deposit. The tenant is still fully responsible for the cost of any damage to the premises. The law has detailed requirements for landlords who want to implement this option.

Read more

Returns and Deductions: The following laws apply to the return of security deposits:

  • Allowable Deductions: Unpaid rent, physical damage (except normal wear and tear), damage due to a breach of the lease, cleaning costs, and other charges mentioned in the lease agreement.
  • Time Limit for Return: Depends on whether deductions are made.
    • 15 days with no deductions (measured from the last day of lease term).
    • 30 days with deductions (measured from the delivery of a statement of deductions).
  • Max. Penalty for Late Return: Tenants can sue for the full deposit plus court costs and attorneys’ fees.

Read more

Early Lease Termination in Florida

Early Termination: A lease can only be broken early without penalty for the following reasons in Florida:

  • Early termination clause (if in the lease).
  • Relocation for active military duty.
  • Habitability violation.
  • Landlord harassment or privacy violation.
  • Lease agreement violation.

Read more

Cost of Breaking a Lease in Florida

If a Florida tenant breaks their lease early, they are still liable for the rent for the remaining lease period. Landlords are not legally required to make a reasonable effort to re-rent the unit.

Landlords cannot keep the full security deposit because a tenant broke their lease. The landlord can make deductions for damages or unpaid rent, but the rest must be returned to the tenant.

Read More

Month to Month Rentals in Florida

For a tenancy-at-will (i.e. no lease or now renting month-to-month), a landlord or tenant can terminate the tenancy without reason with the following amount of notice from a future rent due date.

Rent Payment Frequency Notice Needed
Week-to-Week 7 Days
Month-to-Month 30 Days
Quarter-to-Quarter 30 Days
Year-to-Year 60 Days

To evict a tenant renting month-to-month, a landlord must first notify the tenant of the termination of the lease before proceeding with the next step of the eviction process (filing a complaint in the appropriate County Court).

Rent Increases in Florida

Florida does not have rent control and state law prevents cities and towns from creating their own rent control laws.

Because Florida does not have rent control, landlords can raise the rent by any amount, as often as they choose, but they cannot increase the rent during the lease term unless the lease agreement allows for it. Additionally, landlords cannot increase the rent out of discrimination of federally-protected classes or in retaliation.

Florida state law does not specify how much notice landlords must give before raising the rent. Landlords and tenants can agree on a minimum notice period for a rent increase in the lease agreement.

Read more

Housing Discrimination in Florida

Protected Groups: The Fair Housing Act protects tenants of most housing types from being discriminated against due to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. Florida law also provides additional protections for pregnant individuals.

Discriminatory Acts and Penalties: The following actions may be deemed discriminatory:

  • Refusing to rent or sell housing
  • Falsely claiming a housing unit is unavailable
  • Refusing to engage in certain brokerage activities, including loans, in a fair manner
  • Threatening, coercing, or intimidating tenants into forgoing a fair housing right
  • Refusing to accept reasonable accommodations requested by a tenant

To learn more, please refer to The Florida Commission on Human Relations website.

Additional Landlord Tenant Regulations in Florida

In addition to having laws that address general issues like repairs and security deposits, most states, including Florida, grant rights and responsibilities about things like landlord retaliation and lock changes. See the topics below for more information.

Landlord Right to Entry in Florida

Florida landlords have the right to enter a rental property for inspections, maintenance, and property showings. Unless there’s an emergency, a landlord usually must provide 24 hours of advance notice before any entry. If a landlord fails to give proper notice and/or abuses rights of entry to harass a tenant, the tenant could have grounds for early lease termination.

Read more

Rent Increases and Related Fees in Florida

The following laws apply to the collection of rent and related fees:

  • Grace Period: Landlords are not required to provide a grace period for the payment of rent before charging a late fee. Rent is considered late the day after it is due.
  • Maximum Late Fee: The greater of $20 or 20% of the rental amount. The landlord may also add a reasonable fee to cover expenditures related to collections.
  • Rent Payment Methods: There is no state law governing what payment methods landlords may or may not accept for the payment of rent.
  • Rent Receipt: Not required.

Small Claims Court in Florida

Most disputes between landlords and tenants are handled in Small Claims Court, which is an informal process designed to be quicker and simpler than higher courts. For example, disputes regarding the return of security deposits are typically handled in Small Claims Court.

Landlords and tenants can file cases in Small Claims Court to settle minor disputes without hiring an attorney if the amount claimed is less than $8,000. Florida Small Claims Court is a division of County Court. The process takes approximately two to four months.

Read more

Mandatory Disclosures in Florida

All Florida landlords are required to make the following disclosures to their tenants, either within the terms of their lease or in a separate agreement:

  • Lead-Based Paint: For houses built prior to 1978, federal law requires landlords to provide tenants with information about lead-based paint hazards. Read more.
  • Authorized Authorities: Florida landlords are required to provide their tenants with the names and addresses of all owners for their property. This disclosure must also include any intermediaries certified to act on that property owner’s behalf.
  • Security Deposit Holdings: If landlords lease five or more rental units, they must provide a disclosure including information such as where the security deposit will be held and whether the tenant is entitled to interest.
  • Radon Gas: Florida landlords must provide their tenants with information relating to radon gas, whether or not it is present in or near their rental unit. This disclosure must include language provided by the state that details the nature and hazards associated with radon gas.

Read more

Changing the Locks in Florida

Florida tenants are allowed to change their own locks, as long as the landlord keeps access to the unit for repairs, emergencies, and other lawful purposes. Landlords aren’t allowed to change locks on a tenant for not paying rent, as this is considered a form of illegal “self help” eviction.

Landlord Retaliation in Florida

It’s illegal for Florida landlords to retaliate with raised rent, reduced services, or threatened eviction or lawsuit against tenants who have taken any of the following protected actions in good faith:

  • Complaining to the landlord or government about failure to maintain the property
  • Participating in a tenant organization
  • Pursuing rights or remedies given by law or lease
  • Taking other similar actions

Read more

Reporting a Florida Landlord for Unsafe Living Conditions

When a Florida landlord fails to keep a rental property in the condition required by state and local law, renters have the right to report such violations to the proper authorities. Most areas have dedicated inspections departments which enforce code compliance.

Read more

Additional Resources for Florida Renters

Many cities in Florida have their own landlord-tenant laws in addition to the state requirements. Check your local county and municipality for additional regulations. See below for general resources related to landlord and tenant issues.

Chapter 760 of the 2019 Florida Statues – “Fair Housing Act” – These statutes specifically outline which classes of people are protected from housing discrimination in Florida. Also, these laws can be used as a point of reference when trying to determine if a specific action taken by a landlord constitutes discrimination.

Florida Landlord-Tenant Laws in Practice – This consumer-oriented document breaks down most of the state’s major landlord-tenant laws and applies them to familiar situations experienced by both parties. This document also provides recommendations that can forgo conflict altogether.

Rights and Duties of Tenants and Landlords – These digital pamphlets outline the rights and duties assigned to tenants and landlords when they enter into a leasing relationship. These pamphlets also address what either party can do to resolve a conflict when either party fails to adhere to its assigned duties.