Florida Landlord Tenant Law and Regulations
Does Florida have rent control or stabilization policies?
The state of Florida has not established rent control or stabilization practices.
What fees may I charge?
Landlords may assess late fees when specified within the lease. If a payment is returned by a financial institution as unpaid, landlords may impose a fee of $25, if the face value does not exceed $50, $30, if the face value exceeds $50 but does not exceed $300, $40, if the face value exceeds $300, or 5% of the face amount of the check, whichever is greater. Fla. Stat. § 68.065
What is the limit I can charge for a security deposit?
There is no limit on the security deposit charged to the tenant, so long as it is reasonable.
Do I need a separate bank account for the security deposit?
Landlords must place the security deposit into either a post bond or an interest bearing or non interest bearing account that does not commingle with any personal funds. Additionally, landlords must provide tenants with written notice within 30 days stating where the security deposit is being held. This notice must also include the name, address, how the security deposit is being held, and interest it is bearing, if any.
After my tenant has moved, how long do I have to send their security deposit back?
After lease termination, a landlord has 15 days to return the security deposit with interest OR give the tenant written notice by certified mail to the tenant's last known address of their intention to impose a claim on the deposit, and the reason for imposing the claim. If there is a claim, landlords must return the balance, if any within 30 days of the written notice.
What are some common issues concerning security deposits?
A fairly common issue regarding the return of a security deposit is obtaining a forwarding address for the tenant. To circumvent this problem a landlord should insist upon a mailing address that is separate from the rental location, such as a post-office box.
How can I end a Florida lease agreement?
The lease agreement would supply the language to end a fixed term lease; a fixed term lease is when a lease has a beginning date and an end date. The lease agreement may specify whether a notice is needed or whether the lease would simply end at the end of the agreement. For a non-specific term lease or periodic lease, notice depends on how often the rent is paid. If rent is paid weekly, then 7 days would be needed to end the agreement; if rent is paid on a monthly basis, than 15 days notice would be needed. Quarterly requires thirty days notice and yearly requires sixty days notice. The same is true for a verbal agreement.
My tenant has not paid rent; how much notice do I have to give a tenant in order to evict them?
If a tenant does not pay rent, a 3 day “Notice to Quit” shall be issued before the landlord may file for formal eviction proceedings.
Are there special requirements for the delivery or service of notices, for example, constable, sheriff or a registered process server, taped to entrance, certified mail, etc.?
Lease termination notices must be hand-delivered, and can be received by any adult person. In the event the tenant cannot be found at the property, the termination notice may be posted on the door.
When may a landlord release a tenant from the lease agreement?
In the case of a fire or casualty not caused by the tenant, considering the property unlivable, may a landlord be forced to release the tenant from the agreement. If the resident is called to active military duty, the landlord must release him/her from the lease contract.
My tenant wants to pay only part of the rent he owes? I have already started eviction proceedings; should I accept the partial payment?
Landlords may now accept partial payment and still proceed with an eviction that same month if he/she does one of the following:
1. Gives tenant a receipt of the partial rent payment.
2. Post a new 3 day notice with the new balance owed.
3. Place the amount of partial rent into the court registry, if the eviction is filed.
What are signs that my tenant has abandoned the rental unit?
Normally, if the unit is abandoned, the tenant has not paid the rent, so the landlord may file for eviction. Another clue to realizing your unit is abandoned is noticing that the tenant's personal property is no longer in the unit. If it is plausible, check to see if your tenant has returned to the premises at any time during a period of one week. All “proof” should be documented and gathered to determine abandonment.
Are “No Smoking” policies legal in Florida?
Yes, a landlord may include a “No Smoking” policy in the Lease.
What is the required amount of notice before entering the rental unit?
The landlord shall give the tenant at least 12 hours notice of intent to enter the premises, except in case of emergency or if it's impracticable to do so.
May I require my tenants to get renters insurance?
Landlords may require tenants to obtain rental insurance.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is intended as a general discussion of legal issues concerning landlord tenant law. Information provided is not legal advice or a legal opinion, and it is recommended that the reader seek independent counsel for any specific issue.
Please feel free to review our other Florida landlord-tenant resources, including our Florida lease agreement, and you can post any legal questions to our community of attorneys, landlords and property managers in our Rental Forum.