Landlord Tenant Law
As one of the biggest states in the union, Florida has a population of just over 21 million people. And of those over 20 million-plus individuals, approximately 15% are renters. With such a vast number of renters across the state, Florida has instituted some of the most thorough landlord tenant laws across the US via the Florida Fair Housing Act. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Steven Veinger, Esq. is one of the state’s top landlord tenant lawyers and can assist both landlords and tenants with a variety of issues and grievances – no matter how large or small they might be! Learn more about the landlord tenant system in Florida below.
The Florida Fair Housing Act
Originally a part of the 1968 Federal Fair Housing Act, this important piece of legislation was put in place to protect tenants’ rights by outlining certain behavior of landlords.
The act states that landlords must refrain from the following:
- Intimidating renters or tenants who attempt to assert their rights.
- Create an unfair system if rules and terms within lease agreements.
- Retaliatory practices against those tenants who assert their rights.
- Prohibit certain tenants from renting certain areas or acquiring certain services.
- Preventing tenants from renting or negotiating to rent housing.
- Preventing tenants from inspecting the property prior to rental.
- Discriminate tenants based on factors such as race, nationality, skin color, gender, marital status, pregnancy, handicaps, and more.
What is a Lease Agreement?
In the world of rental properties, the lease agreement is the most important documentation between a landlord and tenant. A lease agreement is a legally binding contract that outlines the terms of the rental agreement, as well as the promises that both parties must uphold for the stated term of the lease. Having an attorney that is knowledgeable in the state’s landlord tenant practices can make a huge difference in the terms of your rental agreement. Steven Veinger has helped many of his clients, both landlords and tenants, obtain the most fair and favorable terms for their lease agreements – that while being mutually beneficial, outline certain advantages or desired specific to each client and their needs.
Lease agreements must also outline the specifics of the rental and the property being rented, they include:
- The parties named to the lease.
- The property and a full description of it, and its condition.
- Any changes or upgrades made or that will be made to the property.
- Terms of the lease – monthly cost, security deposit, any fees, any other costs aside from the monthly rent, the time period for the lease, how these payments are to be made and more.
- Any damage to the property, and who is responsible for what types of future damage or needed upkeep to the property.
- Occupants whoa are allowed to live on the property.
- Any other information relevant to the lease including the use of the property, what is allowed and not allowed, pets, amenities and more.
One of the biggest issues in the world of landlord tenant law is the eviction process. Often times, renters are unfairly evicted – without just cause, or reasonable notice – in violation of fair housing laws. And on the other hand, often, tenants violate the terms of the lease, and landlords may experience difficulty in evicting them. With the help of an experienced landlord tenant attorney Florida landlords and tenants will have the legal counsel they need to file certain court orders and understand what exactly their rights are in such a situation.
In Florida a lease can be terminated if, 1) either party does not comply with the agreed upon terms of the lease or 2) the lease ends. However, when a lease is to be terminated or a tenant is to be evicted, the landlord must give the tenant advanced notice. In the following lease periods:
- A week to week lease – Requires 7 days’ notice.
- A monthly lease – Requires 15 days’ notice.
- A quarterly lease (3-month lease) – Requires 30 days’ notice.
- A yearly lease – Requires 60 days’ notice.
Obligations of Either Party
As a tenant you are responsible for the following:
- Proper use of the property and any appliances, as outlined in the lease agreement.
- Be responsible for the behavior of any guests.
- Do not destroy or deface any property.
- Keep up with building and housing codes.
- Observe all garbage removal rules and codes.
As a landlord your responsibilities are dependent upon the type of rental unit in question. However, for the most part you must observe the following:
- Keep hot water running year round and heat the property during the winter.
- Allow for proper trash disposal and receptacles for trash removal.
- Cleanliness and safe conditions of the surrounding property.
- Provide working locks and keys.
- Ensure property is free of any bed bugs, ants, mice, and other infestations. In the event of such issues, you must contact an exterminator.
- Maintenance and general upkeep of the property.
Also, a tenant has a reasonable right to their privacy. A landlord cannot enter the property unless of the following:
- In an emergency situation.
- With the tenant’s consent.
- With 12-hour notice and consent for repairs.
- When the tenant is absent for at least 15 days (if the rent is due every month).
Get the Landlord Tenant Help You Need Today!
No matter if you are a landlord struggling with unruly tenants, a tenant dealing with the unfair practices of a landlord, or simply looking to draft or revise the terms of your lease agreement, with the help of an experienced landlord tenant attorney such as Steven Veinger, Esq. you will have an advocate who will fight for each and every one of your rights under the law. For more information on your landlord tenant situation, or to schedule a consultation, be sure to contact the Law Offices of Steven Veinger at (305) 682-0401.