Florida Landlord Tenant Laws

This is a summary of Florida Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the 2022 Florida Statutes and various online sources to serve as a reference for people wanting to learn about Florida landlord-tenant laws, Florida eviction laws, and Florida renters’ rights. 

However, this guide is not comprehensive and PayRent does not warrant the accuracy of this information. Statutes can change any time the state legislature passes a new law. Additionally, counties and cities may have different regulations. Given its limitations, this guide is not an adequate substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer.  If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, we’ve included a list of attorney referral services in this guide.

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Rules and Regulations Governing Florida Landlord-Tenant Laws

Florida Lease Terms Provisions

Florida Security Deposit Laws

  • What is the maximum allowable security deposit?

There is no Florida law limiting security deposits.

  • Are security deposits required to earn interest?

No. There is no Florida law requiring security deposits to earn interest,  but it is permitted.  If interest is being collected, the money must be held in a Florida banking institution. The tenant must receive 75% of the annualized average interest rate, or 5% simple interest each year, whichever the landlord chooses. (Fla.Stat. § 83.49(1)

  • Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account? 

Yes. Landlords are prohibited from commingling security deposit funds with other funds.  (Fla.Stat. § 83.49(1)

  • Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?

No. There is no Florida law forbidding non-refundable fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge. 

  • How long do landlords have to return security deposits?

15 days if the tenant is due a full refund; 30 days if any amount of the deposit is withheld. (Fla.Stat. § 83.49(3)(a)

  • Can landlords withhold security deposits?

Yes. Landlords can use the deposit to cover accrued rent and to repair damages. (Fla.Stat. § 83.49(3)(a)

  • Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?

Yes. Landlords must send a written notice listing the reason for imposing a claim on the security deposit by certified mail to the tenant’s last known address within 30 days. The notice must use specific language, which is listed in the statute. (Fla.Stat. § 83.49(3)(a))

  • Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?

Yes. Within 30 days, landlords must give written notice to the tenant which includes disclosure of the advance rent or security deposit and contains specific disclosure language, which is listed in the statute. (Fla.Stat. § 83.49(2))

  • Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?

No. There is no Florida law specifying record-keeping requirements.

  • What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?

If the landlord fails to give the required notice within the 30 days, he or she forfeits the right to impose a claim upon the security deposit and may not seek a setoff against the deposit but may file an action for damages after return of the deposit. (Fla.Stat. § 83.49(3)(a))

Florida Rent Laws

  • Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)

No. There are no rent control laws in Florida.

  • When is rent due?

Rent is due at the time and place agreed upon by the landlord and tenant. Unless they agree to a different arrangement, rent is due at the beginning of the month and will be paid in equal monthly installments. For week-to-week tenancies, rent is due every week. (Fla.Stat. § 83.46)

  • Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?

No. There is no Florida law requiring a certain payment method for rent.

Fees

  • Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?

Yes. Landlord may charge a “reasonable” late fee of $20 or 20% of the monthly rent, whichever is greater. Landlord may also charge tenants a fee for any expenses accrued resulting from collecting late rent or enforcing a lien. (Fla. Stat. § 83.808(3)).

  • Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?

No. There is no Florida law requiring a grace period before assessing late fees.

  • Can landlords charge application fees?

Yes. There is no Florida law forbidding application fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.

  • Can landlords charge returned check fees?

Yes. Landlords can collect bank fees incurred, plus a service charge 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 percent of the face value of the payment instrument, whichever is greater.  (Fla.Stat. § 68.065(2))

Florida Landlord-Tenant Relations

Notices

  • Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms?

No. There is no Florida law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms. However, landlords cannot raise your rent in the middle of your lease.

  • Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?

No. There is no Florida law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the rental property.

  • What notice is required to terminate a fixed-end lease?

No notice is required — the lease ends on the date stated in the lease.

  • What notice is required to terminate a week-to-week periodic lease?

Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the lease with 7 days written notice. (Fla.Stat. § 83.57(4))

  • What notice is required to terminate a month-to-month periodic lease?

Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the lease with 15 days written notice. (Fla.Stat. § 83.57(3))

  • What notice is required to terminate a quarter-to-quarter periodic lease?

Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the lease with 30 days written notice. (Fla.Stat. § 83.57(2))

  • What notice is required to terminate a year-to-year periodic lease?

Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the lease with 60 days written notice. (Fla.Stat. § 83.57(1))

  • Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?

There is no statute in Florida law covering this issue. 

Entry Provisions

  • What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit?

To enter to repair the premises, the landlord must provide notice at least 12 hours in advance, and enter between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. There is no specific notice requirement for any of the other reasons for entry.  (Fla.Stat. § 83.53(2))

  • When can landlords enter the rental premises without providing notice to their tenants?
    • With the consent of the tenant,
    • In case of an emergency.
    • When the tenant unreasonably withholds consent.
    • If the tenant is absent from the premises for one-half the time for periodic rental payments.  (Fla.Stat. § 83.53(2))

Landlord’s Duties (Fla.Stat. § 83.51)

  • Landlords must comply with applicable building and housing codes. If there are no applicable codes, landlords must maintain the roofs, windows, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads and the plumbing in reasonable working condition. The landlord, at the commencement of the tenancy, must ensure that screens are installed in a reasonable condition. Thereafter, the landlord must repair damage to screens once annually, when necessary, until termination of the rental agreement.
  • Unless the lease says otherwise, landlords must make reasonable provisions for:
    • The extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants, wood-destroying organisms, and bedbugs.
    • Locks and keys.
    • The clean and safe condition of common areas.
    • Garbage removal and outside receptacles.
    • Functioning facilities for heat during winter, running water, and hot water.
    • Working smoke detection devices. (Fla.Stat. § 83.51)

Tenant’s Duties (Fla.Stat. § 83.52)

  • Tenants must comply with all obligations imposed upon tenants by building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety.
  • Tenants must keep that part of the premises that the tenant occupies and uses as clean and sanitary.
  • Tenants must remove from the tenant’s dwelling unit all garbage in a clean and sanitary manner.
  • Tenants must keep all plumbing fixtures as clean and sanitary and in repair.
  • Tenants must use all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances including elevators in the premises in a reasonable manner;
  • Tenants must not destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the premises or property belonging to the landlord, or permit any person to do so.
  • Tenants and their guests must conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb the neighbors or constitute a breach of the peace. (Fla.Stat. § 83.52)

Required Landlord Disclosures

  • Landlords are required to disclose in writing the name and addresses of the landlord or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for service of process and receiving notices. (Fla.Stat. § 83.50)
  • Before executing a lease, landlords must provide notification regarding radon gas that contains specific language. (Fla.Stat. § 404.056(5))
  • Before renting pre-1978 property, landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards. (16 CFR 1303, 42 U.S. Code § 4852d) . If the landlord fails to disclose all known lead paint hazards, the landlord can face fines of up to $19,507 for each violation (24 CFR 30.65)

Florida Renters’ Rights

  • What rights do tenants have if their landlords breach their duties? (See Landlord’s Duties)

If a landlord fails to comply with the rental agreement or the landlord’s duties, the renter may deliver a written notice to the landlord identifying the issue(s). If the landlord does not remedy the breach within 7 days of receiving notice,  the tenant may terminate the lease.  (Fla.Stat. § 83.56(1))

  • Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs or other breaches of their landlords’ duties?

Yes.  If a landlord fails to comply with the landlord’s duties under the lease and applicable law, the tenant may provide written notice to the landlord that the premises are wholly untenable and specifically describing the issue(s).  If the landlord does not correct the issue(s) within 20 days, the tenant may withhold rent until the repair or maintenance has been performed.  (Fla.Stat. § 83.201)

  • What are the protections for tenants against retaliation from their landlords for exercising their Florida renter’s rights?

Florida law prohibits landlords from increasing rent, decreasing services, or bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession or other civil action primarily to retaliate against the tenant for complaining to a governmental agency; complaining to the landlord about a breach of landlord’s duties;  or organizing, encouraging, or participating in a tenant organization;  or if the tenant is a servicemember who has terminated a rental agreement, tenant has paid rent to a condominium, cooperative, or homeowners’ association after demand from the association in order to pay landlord’s obligation to the association, or tenant has exercised his/her rights under local, state, or federal fair housing laws. (Fla.Stat. § 83.64(1))

Florida Eviction Laws

  • What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under Florida eviction laws?
  • What notice must landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process in Florida?
    • For evictions based on non-payment of rent, the landlord must give a 3 days’ notice, not including weekends or holidays, to remedy the breach before starting the eviction process. (Fla.Stat. § 83.56(3))
  • For evictions based on a violation of lease terms, landlords must give a 7 days’ notice before starting the eviction process. Depending on the severity of the violation, landlords may or may not have to permit the tenant to cure the breaches. (Fla.Stat. § 83.56(2))
  • For evictions based on a holdover tenancy, landlords must provide the required notice to terminate the tenancy. If the tenant remains on the rental property after the termination date, the landlord can begin the eviction process without providing additional notice. (Fla.Stat. § 83.58)
  • Are landlords permitted to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities? 

No. If a landlord evicts a tenant using self-help methods, the landlord is liable to the tenant for actual and consequential damages or 3 months’ rent, whichever is greater, and costs, including attorney’s fees. (Fla.Stat. § 83.67)

  • Are landlords permitted to recover damages from an evicted tenant?

Yes.  (Fla.Stat. § 83.55)

COVID-19 Changes to Florida Landlord-Tenant Laws

Squatter’s rights in Florida

Under Homestead Act of 1862, individuals (squatters) can possess the property if they have lived there for a specific period of time, done so publicly, made repairs to the property, have deed to the property and have paid rent or taxes on this property.

Florida has no specific laws recognizing squatters.

If squatter continuously occupies the property under a claim of title exclusive of any other right, founding the claim on a written instrument as being a conveyance of the property, or on a decree or judgment, for 7 years and either holds color of title or pays taxes, he/she can claim adverse possession. If the property is divided into lots, the possession of one lot shall not be deemed a possession of any other lot of the same tract. The property deemed possessed if it is usually cultivated or improved, protected by substantial enclosure, it has been used for the supply of fuel or fencing timber for husbandry or for the ordinary use of the occupant, or when a known lot or single farm has been partly improved, the part that has not been cleared or enclosed according to the usual custom of the county is to be considered as occupied for the same length of time as the part improved or cultivated. (Fla. Stat. § 95.16). 

If the squatter has been in actual continued possession of real property for 7 years under a claim of title exclusive of any other right, but not founded on a written instrument, judgment, or decree, he/she can claim adverse possession if the squatter paid all outstanding taxes and matured installments of special improvements liens levied against the property within 1 year after entering into possession: made a return of the property by proper legal description to the property appraiser of the county where it’s located within 30 days after paying taxes; and has subsequently paid all taxes and matured installments of special improvements liens levied against the property for all remaining years. (Fla. Stat. § 95-18).

Government 

Attorney Referral Services

Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations

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