Below you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Florida’s Landlord Tenant laws. We are not intending to provide legal advice, instead, point you in the right direction! You can review the complete Florida Landlord and Tenant Statutes for residential here.
How much notice does a landlord have to give a tenant to move out in Florida?
The amount of notice required is determined by the rental agreement or if this is not specified in the rental agreement, by the periods for which the rent is payable. For example, if a tenant is month-to-month, then notice to move-out would be given at the start of the most recent month rent was paid in. However, a rental agreement may not require more than 60 days’ notice from either the tenant or the landlord.
What do landlords need to know about security deposits in Florida?
There are two parts to managing security deposits. The first is collecting & holding onto a security deposit from a tenant, the second is returning a security deposit at the end of a rental agreement.
In Florida, when collecting and holding onto a security deposit, you have three options – outlined below. The first two options are most common across landlord-tenant laws in the United States. The key point is to make sure your security deposit never commingled with other funds.
Options for holding security deposits in Florida:
- Hold the total amount of such money in a separate non-interest-bearing account in a Florida banking institution for the benefit of the tenant or tenants. The landlord shall not commingle such moneys with any other funds of the landlord or hypothecate, pledge, or in any other way make use of such moneys until such moneys are actually due the landlord;
- Hold the total amount of such money in a separate interest-bearing account in a Florida banking institution for the benefit of the tenant or tenants, in which case the tenant shall receive and collect interest in an amount of at least 75 percent of the annualized average interest rate payable on such account or interest at the rate of 5 percent per year, simple interest, whichever the landlord elects. The landlord shall not commingle such moneys with any other funds of the landlord or hypothecate, pledge, or in any other way make use of such moneys until such moneys are actually due the landlord; or
- Post a surety bond, executed by the landlord as principal and a surety company authorized and licensed to do business in the state as surety, with the clerk of the circuit court in the county in which the dwelling unit is located in the total amount of the security deposits and advance rent he or she holds on behalf of the tenants or $50,000, whichever is less. You can read more here.
When returning a security deposit in Florida, the landlord must return the deposit within 15 days of the tenant vacating the property. This is applicable if the landlord is not filing a claim.
If the landlord plans on keeping a partial or full deposit, the landlord has 30 days to provide written notice of how much of the deposit will be kept and why. This must be done by certified mail, to the tenant’s last known mailing address. If this notice is not sent as required within the 30-day period, the landlord forfeits their right to impose a claim on the deposit.
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How much notice does a landlord have to give before entering a premise in Florida?
The landlord may enter the rental unit at any time for the protection or preservation of the premises. However, the landlord must give reasonable notice to the tenant. “Reasonable notice” is defined as 12 hours prior to entry, and “reasonable time” is defined as between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.
If the landlord is unable to get the consent of a tenant to enter the premise, or the tenant withholds consent, the landlord may enter the premise in the case of an emergency or if the tenant is absent from the premises for a period of time equal to one-half the time of rent payments.
What is the maximum late fee allowed by law in Florida?
There are no minimum or maximum late fees a landlord can place on late rent.
Can you charge eviction fees in Florida?
Attorney and legal fees can be subject to be paid upon a civil action ruling, however, these charges are going to vary depending on the eviction process.
If a tenant is not paying rent, the landlord must serve the tenant a written notice allowing three days, excluding weekends and legal holidays, for the payment of the rent or vacating of the premises. If the tenant does not pay the rent or vacate, the landlord may begin legal action to evict.
Rules allow for accidentally accepting rent or having a tenant pay rent while under civil action, and also provide guidance in the case a partial payment of rent is made.
What’s the most a landlord can increase rent in Florida?
Landlords are allowed to raise the rent as long as they provide notification that matches the state’s guidelines. In Florida, a rental agreement may not require more than 60 days’ notice from either the tenant or the landlord, rent increases should follow tenant renewal laws. Landlords cannot raise rent against tenants as a punishment or in retaliation, that’s referred to as a punitive rent increase.
Landlords should keep in mind that raising rent should be to match your market while maintaining a low risk of vacancy.
More reading: Florida Statues Chapter 83.64 – Retaliatory conduct
Resources for Complete Florida Landlord-Tenant Laws:
- The 2019 Florida Statutes, Chapter 83: Landlord and Tenant
- Nonresidential Tenancies: PART I
- Residential Tenancies: PART II
- Self-Service Storage Space: PART III
- Consumer Resources
- HUD – Local Tenant Rights, Laws, and Protections: Florida
Note: This content is not intended to substitute, replace, or be construed as professional legal advice. It is for referential purposes only and not meant to replace the advice of your legal counsel, legal representation, and or lawyer. Please consult your professional legal representation or lawyer to be sure your lease is compliant with any state and/or federal laws.