Renting space from another person requires a commitment on each side—the renter commits to a set amount of money, a set timeframe and a set start and end date, while the landlord commits to a pre-determined space, a level of maintenance and whatever provisions have been agreed upon as part of the rental contract. Along with these commitments come responsibilities that each party owes the other. These responsibilities are governed under Florida’s law, no matter how long the rental term lasts, how the payments are made or what building is involved.
In the Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act (FL Statute, Part 11, Chapter 38), the rights of the landlord and the tenant, along with their responsibilities to each other, are defined under the state’s law. These rights are in place whether there is a written lease agreement or not, and in cases which the written lease differs from the Act, the state’s laws take precedence.
Responsibilities of the Landlords
A landlord owes his or her tenant a place to live, at the very least, and this place has to be decently inhabitable. Under Florida’s laws, this means the property has running, hot water; heat, working plumbing, and structural integrity. The property must be reasonably secure, with doors and windows that can lock, and must be free of any bed bugs, termites, cockroaches, or other insects. Additionally, the landlord has to be in compliance with any safety codes and health and building standards. The landlord is also required to make and pay for any necessary repairs to a property that is unfit for living.
Responsibilities of the Tenant
The tenant is required to pay his or her rent on time and in full, except in cases of severe neglect on the part of the landlord. Tenants are also required to comply with the health, safety, and building codes, and to keep the property at a reasonable level of maintenance, allowing for general wear and tear, but in line with the original condition of the property. They should also follow all noise and peace requirements, and their guests must do so as well.
What Happens if These Rights are Violated?
If a tenant or a landlord believes that the other has violated the responsibilities set by Florida’s laws, the resulting dispute could turn into a battle in court. Because the landlord/tenant relationship is based on a one person making his home in another person’s property, disagreements can easily escalate to have the law involved for evictions, lawsuits, and more.
Know Your Rights
If you are involved in a dispute over rental property, agreements, or responsibilities, get an attorney from Lubell Rosen involved. The team at our Florida real estate law firm can help you navigate the state’s Landlord Tenant Act and determine how any breaches in responsibility should be handled. For more information about how the state’s statutes affect your rental contract or agreement, or for insight into a particular situation, contact one of our attorneys today.