Guide to the Landlord-Tenant Laws in Jacksonville Florida

Jacksonville FL Landlord-Tenant Law

April 9, 2020

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A wide array of federal, state and local laws govern the relationship between Jacksonville, Florida landlords and tenants. One of these laws is the statewide Florida landlord-tenant law. Understanding these laws is important for both landlords and tenants in order to avoid any potential legal conflicts.

The Florida landlord-tenant law is governed by Florida Statutes Chapter 83. It stipulates what rights and responsibilities each party has in regards to living in/managing a rental property.

Innovative Property Solutions has made this article as an overview of the Florida landlord-tenant law and what it means for your Jacksonville property.

Required Landlord Disclosures in Florida

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The following are the declarations that every landlord in Florida has to disclose to their tenants before allowing them to sign the lease.

  • The identity of the landlord. Florida landlord laws say that a landlord must disclose the name and address of the person authorized to handle all the necessary property management matters. (See Fla. Stat. Ann. §83.50).
  • Warning about Radon. Levels of radon that exceed federal and state guidelines have been found in buildings in Florida. Landlords must disclose its presence, as it is a radioactive gas that might present certain health risks to tenants. (See Fla. Sta. Ann. §404.056).
  • Warning about fires. Florida mandates that in all buildings greater than 3 stories tall, new tenants need to be made aware about the availability of fire protection. (See Fla. Stat. Ann. §83.50).
  • Rules about security deposits. Florida landlords must also disclose the rules about security deposits. The rules include details such as: Whether the deposit will be kept in an interest or non-interest-bearing account, the account depository’s name, and the time and rate of any interest payments. (See Fla. Stat. Ann. §§83.49, 83.43 (12)).
  • Details about rent. When it comes to rent payments, landlords in Florida must disclose things like the rent amount, when rent is due, length of the tenancy, grace period, acceptable payment methods, and the price of late fees.

Related: Florida Security Deposit Laws

Florida Tenant Rights & Responsibilities

The following are the basic Florida renters rights. A tenant has the right to:

  • Remain in the rental premises until the due eviction process has been carried out.
  • Have repairs done in a timely manner after requesting the landlord to do so.
  • Be notified of any changes that are made to the lease or rental agreement.
  • Be notified when the landlord receives their security or rent deposits.
  • Live in a peaceful and quiet rental property.
  • Live in a home that meets both Jacksonville and Florida safety, health and building codes.

Below are the basic tenant responsibilities in Florida. A tenant is responsible for:

  • Providing their landlord with adequate notice prior to moving out.
  • Abiding by all the terms of the lease/rental agreement.
  • Paying rent on time without fail.
  • Taking care of the rental premises.
  • Notifying the landlord when leaving for an extended period of time.
  • Informing the landlord, in writing, of any needed repairs.

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Florida Landlord Rights & Responsibilities

In the state of Florida, these are the basic rights that landlords have:

  • Tenants must abide by all terms stipulated under the lease agreement.
  • Tenants should inform them, in writing, of any needed repairs.
  • Month-to-month tenants must provide adequate notice prior to moving out.
  • Tenants should notify the landlord when they are leaving for an extended period of time.

Below are the basic responsibilities of property owners, according to Florida landlord laws:

  • Abiding by the terms of the lease agreement.
  • Following the entire legal procedure when evicting tenants.
  • Can a landlord enter without permission in Florida? The short answer is no, they must provide 24 hours’ written notice prior to entering a tenant’s home.
  • Attending to any repair requests promptly.
  • Ensuring the property adheres to the state’s health and building codes.
  • Maintaining a peaceful, quiet place of residence.

    Related: Jacksonville, Florida Eviction Process

An Overview of the Florida Rental Laws

Landlord’s Entry

Every tenant in Jacksonville has a right to the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their rental property. As per the state’s statutes, landlords must provide a 24 hours’ notice prior to entering their homes. Some of the reasons why landlords might need to enter a tenant’s home include:

  • To make any requested repairs.
  • Following a court order.
  • During an emergency.
  • To show the property to potential tenants, buyers or mortgagers.
  • When there are sufficient reasons to believe a tenant has abandoned the property.

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Warranty of Habitability

It’s the landlord’s responsibility to keep their rental premises up to a habitable standard. The following are the common characteristics of a habitable rental property. A property should have:

  • Properly functioning locks.
  • Properly repaired and maintained stairways, floors, and railings.
  • Clean and vermin-free grounds, at least at the time of renting.
  • Lighting, electrical and plumbing facilities that are up to code.
  • Effective weatherproofing of the exterior walls, the roof, and windows.

Fair Housing Laws

Any form of discrimination towards a tenant is illegal in Jacksonville, FL. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on certain classes. These include:

  • Religion
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Age

Security Deposits

A security deposit is any advance payment a tenant makes to a landlord prior to signing the lease. While Florida doesn’t set a limit to how much a landlord can ask, most landlords often ask for the equivalent of one or two months' rent.

Landlords require security deposits for many reasons, such as to:

  • Cushion themselves against defaults in rent payments.
  • Help cover any damages a tenant causes that exceeds normal wear-and-tear.
  • Cushion themselves against income loss in the event a tenant breaks the lease early.
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Jacksonville Tenants Rights to Withhold Rent

Tenants in Jacksonville have several remedies when their landlords fail to take care of important repairs. These remedies include:

  • Withholding rent until the landlord handles the repairs.
  • Suing the landlord for not carrying out their responsibility.
  • Exercising their right to repair the damage themselves and then deducting the amounts from the rent.
  • Calling the state or local health inspectors.

Small Claims Lawsuits

When all fails, both landlords and tenants can seek legal redress in a local small claims court. A small claims court can help handle conflicts arising from things like security deposits and property damage.

In Florida, the amount a litigant can recover is limited to $8,000 (as of April 2020).

Disclaimer: This blog is only meant to be informational and not a substitute for legal advice. If you need more help, please consider hiring professional attorney services or a property management company.

Innovative Property Solutions

8833 Perimeter Park Blvd Suite 301, Jacksonville, FL 32216

(904) 321-9020

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