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Florida [NCJ1] Landlord-Tenant Laws

Florida [NCJ1] Landlord-Tenant Laws

Do you own and rent properties in Florida?

If so, you are subject to a group of laws that regulate the relationships between landlords and tenants in the state.

Florida landlord-tenant laws might not be the most enjoyable light reading, but they are important. Even if you typically pay a lawyer to handle legal issues like eviction lawsuits, you should still be aware of the laws in your state because they affect multiple aspects of your business. From security deposits to rental agreements and late fees, state laws have much to say about how you can enforce your rental policies.

Below is an overview of the landlord-tenant laws you need to know if you rent properties in Florida.

Required Disclosures

Required disclosures are specific kinds of information landlords must provide to tenants, either in the lease agreement or the rental application. They tend to be about rental rules, environmental contaminants, local laws, or other important information tenants need to know before renting a unit.

There is one federally mandated disclosure: All landlords must disclose information about the hazards of lead-based paint in rental agreements for buildings constructed before 1978. You are also required to include an EPA-approved information pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.

In Florida, there are several more required disclosures. These include:

·Landlord/Agent identification – You must disclose your name and address as well the name and address of any person authorized to enter a rental agreement on your behalf, such as your agent or property manager.

·Radon – You must include a warning about radioactive radon gas in every rental agreement longer than 45 days. The warning must include this specific text per the law.

·Security deposit receipt – If you own five or more units, you must disclose to tenants where you keep security deposits (e.g., in an interest-bearing or non-interest-bearing account) within 30 days of receiving it. You must also name the account depository and state whether the interest belongs to you or the tenant.

·Fire protection – You should explain to new tenants which fire protections are available in buildings with more than three stories.

Security Deposits

The amount of a security deposit is not regulated in Florida, meaning you can charge whatever reasonable amount you like (a standard security deposit is around one- to two-months’ rent). Florida also does not regulate where security deposits should be kept, except to note that if you should choose to keep a deposit in an interest-bearing account, then the interest (at either 75% of the annualized average interest rate or 5% per year) belongs to the tenant.

Florida law also specifies the length of the return period for security deposits: 15 days, or 30 days after the landlord notifies the tenant of their intent to make a claim against the deposit. Funds may be withheld for unpaid rent, repairs, and any other charges named in the lease. Be advised, however, that Florida tenants have the right to object to any claims against their deposits.

Rent Laws

Florida enforces several key rent laws that all landlords renting properties in the state should be aware of.

First, fees for late rent in Florida must be “reasonable,” which the state defines as less than either $20 or 20% of monthly rent, whichever is greater. Keep in mind that you can only enforce your late fee policy if you state the amount and conditions in the rental agreement.

There is no mandatory rent grace period Florida enforces, so you are not required to wait any length of time before sending a nonpaying tenant a notice to pay or quit.

Additionally, Florida does retain the right to enact rent control laws for a one-year period during housing emergencies. Even while no rent control laws are in effect, you must give your tenants at least 60 days’ notice before increasing the rent more than 5%.

Fair Housing Protections

Fair housing laws are some of the most important and fiercely defended landlord-tenant laws. Federal landlord tenant laws protect renters from discrimination based on their membership in any of seven protected classes: race, color, national origin, gender, religion, familial status, and disability. However, state laws often expand these protections, and this is the case with Florida. Fair housing laws in Florida add protections for pregnancy, age, marital status, and HIV/AIDS status.


Evictions are highly regulated and state-specific, so if you must initiate one, it’s best to get the advice of an experienced eviction lawyer. However, one important thing to know about eviction law in Florida is that the rent demand notice period is three days. This means if a tenant is late on rent, you may send them a formal eviction notice and must wait three days before officially filing for eviction with the court. For all other lease violations, the notice period is seven days.


Florida landlord-tenant laws may be dense and boring to read, but they’re ultimately the backbone of your business. If you want your rental operations in Florida to proceed smoothly and legally, reading this article is a good place to start. However, you should invest more time into reading over Florida’s laws in greater detail yourself.


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