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Disputes between landlords and tenants can come from a variety of situations.
No matter your position, being informed of your rights when it comes to landlord/tenant disputes can help save you time and money. When it comes to protecting your best interests, you need an ally who is knowledgeable and decisive.
At the Lopez Law Group, we’ve dedicated ourselves to standing up for Florida landlords and tenants. The laws governing Florida landlord tenant relationships can be found in Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes. We have the skills and expertise to help you reach a beneficial settlement, and if litigation is necessary, we’ll intelligently and aggressively fight for your rights.
If you are a landlord, we can assist with:
Raising the rent is not something a landlord can do without following the proper procedure. You must be compliant with the specific rules and regulations of the State of Florida. If you intend on terminating a month to month lease, you typically have to give 15 days prior notice and to terminate a year to year lease you must give 60 days, and while it is not expressly written, it can be assumed that the same time periods apply to notices about raising the rent. We can help you work through the proper procedures to make sure all legal rent rules are followed.
If you do not intend to impose a claim on the security deposit, the landlord must return the deposit within 15 days. Written notice must be given if you plan to keep a portion or all of the security deposit. It also benefits the landlord to know what they can and cannot use a security deposit to cover. A security deposit is not meant to be used for normal wear and tear of a premises, these sorts of damages are expected, and a landlord should not use a security deposit for such. Prior to making a decision to keep a security deposit, seeking legal counsel is recommended to ensure the legality of the landlord’s actions.
If you need to evict a tenant, it can be a risky business. You must have valid reasons for eviction. Evictions can be performed for non-payment of rent, violation of the lease agreement or illegal activity. Whether the landlord gives a tenant a notice to cure or a notice to quit, the attorneys at the Lopez Law Group are here to assist. We can assist with the necessary notice requirements involved, any court filings, and the unlawful detainer process.
If You Are A Tenant, We Can Assist:
When a landlord fails to meet the obligations set forth in a lease, a renter has certain rights. In Florida, a rental property or apartment has to meet certain standards.
Habitability of the Premise
The property must be habitable and meet all applicable codes. Landlords are required to keep a premise in a livable condition. If there are certain repairs which are not being addressed and they make the premise uninhabitable, such as a broken air conditioning or mold issues, a tenant may be able to break the lease and find another living situation, they could withhold rent until the problem is addressed or they could have the repairs made and pay for it and have that amount deducted from their rent.
Quiet Enjoyment of the Premise
A landlord must provide a premise that allows for quiet enjoyment. The landlord cannot simply enter the unit whenever they like without first giving proper notice. A landlord is only allowed to enter the property for very specific reasons, such as to make necessary repairs or to show the property to upcoming tenants. Unless it is an emergency, Florida requires landlords give their tenants a 12-hour notice before they enter a unit. The time that the landlord requests to enter the property has to be reasonable, meaning they cannot enter your place at 4am to do repairs.
Security Deposit Return from the Landlord
If you gave a security deposit, knowing when you are entitled to have that deposit returned can be extremely helpful. At the Lopez Law Group, we can help advise you on how to notify the landlord and the next steps to take if the apartment or rental property you are living in is below standard or if you are having trouble getting your security deposit returned. As stated above, the landlord is required to keep your security deposit in a safe place separate from other funds and they must return the security deposit to you at the end of your tenancy if there are no repairs that need to be made. If you only caused normal wear and tear, a landlord has no right to keep the deposit to cover these costs.Termination as a Tenant
Termination by a tenant of a lease agreement can happen but only in very specific instances. As always, the lease is very important and can give some indication of the situations where you may be able to break the lease and vacate. If the premises is uninhabitable or there are safety concerns, these may also be situations where you as a tenant may be able to vacate a premises. If termination is necessary, we’ll guide you through the entire process as well. A tenant will need to give notice of termination. Knowing how to do this and what needs to be given to the landlord in order to vacate a premise is very important.
These laws are finely crafted to help define the legal relationship that exists between a landlord and a tenant. Understanding the laws is an essential part of ensuring no entity is violating anyone else’s rights. This also applies to disclosure laws.
Disclosure by a Landlord
In most cases, owners/landlords are required to disclose certain specifications about the property prior to renting. Asbestos, lead paint, and radioactive materials are illegal across the country. In Florida, a landlord may be required to disclose the following:
- The details surrounding your security deposit
- Whether or not there will be nonrefundable fees
- The existing damages to the property
- Any environmental health hazards that may exist on the property
- Information on safety equipment in the unit
- Presence of meth lab in the unit prior to moving in
- Housing code violations
However, certain states have more specific laws when it comes to disclosure. That’s why it’s important to have an expert, our tenant lawyers, in your corner to ensure you aren’t breaking any rules.
Our attorneys are always standing by ready to assist and our consultations on these matters are always free. If you are a landlord or a tenant and are having issues, give us a call today to see if we can assist. We can be reached at 727-933-0015. When you need legal counsel and someone in your corner, turn to the Lopez Law Group in St. Petersburg.