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State Landlord-Tenant Laws For Florida


The Overview

“In God We Trust”


  • Not required but highly recommended.
  • No limit on the deposit amount.
  • Landlords have 15 days to return the deposit if the tenant is due a full refund.
  • If landlords withhold any amount of the deposit, they have 30 days to notify the tenant via certified mail.

  • Not required but highly recommended.
  • No limit on the deposit amount.
  • Landlords have 15 days to return the deposit if the tenant is due a full refund.
  • If landlords withhold any amount of the deposit, they have 30 days to notify the tenant via certified mail.

  • Required for tenancies longer than 12 months.
  • Highly recommended to have a rental agreement for all tenancies.
  • Required for tenancies longer than 12 months.
  • Highly recommended to have a rental agreement for all tenancies.


  • Required to provide at least 12 hours notice before entering the property for repairs.
  • Required to provide at least 12 hours notice before entering the property for repairs.

  • No Statute.

  • No Statute.

  • No Statute.

  • No Statute.

  • No Statute.

  • No Statute.

  • No Statute.

  • No Statute.

State Motto: In God We Trust


Florida State Laws Navigation



1. Florida Laws on Deposits

Security Deposit Laws Summary

  • Security Deposit Maximum: No Statute.
  • Security Deposit Interest: Not required, but allowed. If interest is being collected, it must be in a Florida banking institution, and the tenant receives 75% of the annualized average interest rate, or 5% simple interest each year, dependent upon what the landlord chooses (83.49 (1a-b)). No interest is due to a tenant who wrongfully terminates his or her tenancy prior to the end of the rental term (83.49 (9)).
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account:Landlords are not allowed to commingle funds (83.49 (1a-b)). Landlords are also allowed to post a surety bond (83.49 (1c)).
  • Additional Non-refundable Fees: No Statute, but is typically allowed and customary.
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: Landlords have 15 days to return the deposit if the tenant is due a full refund. If the landlord withholds any amount of the deposit, they have 30 days to notify the tenant via certified mail. (83.49 (3a)).
  • Require Written Description / Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes, and landlord must send notice using exact language found in Florida Statute 83.49 (3a).
  • Receipt of Security Deposit: Required to be given to the tenant within 30 days. Landlord must identify the manner in which the money is being held, and what the interest rate is, if any. Florida has specific rules pertaining to the receipt notification, read Statute 83.49(2-3) carefully.

Florida Deposit Laws

While landlords in Florida are not required by law to collect a deposit it is highly recommended that they do. Additionally, there are no limits to the amount the deposit should be, however, deposits are generally equal to 1-2 months rent.

Security deposits do two things, firstly they test the tenant’s financial stability (their ability to make large payments). Secondly, they also act as a guarantee that the landlord can regain some of their losses should the tenant renege on payments or cause damage to the property.

If you do collect a deposit there are specific laws regarding how it should be held, how you may make deductions from it, and when it must be returned.

There are three ways landlords in Florida can handle security deposits:

  1. Hold the security deposit in a non-interest-bearing account until the end of the lease. The deposit in this scenario cannot be commingled with the landlord’s assets.
  2. Landlords can hold the security deposit in an interest-bearing account. The landlord must either pay the tenant 5% simple interest per year or 75% of the annualized average interest on the account. Again if the deposit is held in this manner it cannot be commingled with the landlord’s funds.
  3. Landlords may also issue surety bonds for every rental unit owned, or they can issue a single surety bond for all of their units. If a landlord uses a surety bond for each rental unit, the bond must equal the amount of security deposit held or $50,000, whichever is less. If a landlord has 5 or more units, the landlord may hold a single security deposit for all its units with the Secretary of State. The surety bond must equal all the deposits the landlord is holding for all its tenants, or $250,000, whichever is less. When a landlord issues a surety bond for security deposits, he or she must pay 5% of simple interest on the security deposit to the tenant each year.

Is a security deposit receipt required in Florida?

If a landlord collects a security deposit they must issue a receipt of the deposit to the tenant within 30 days.

If the landlord moves the location of the deposit, the landlord must also notify the tenant of the new location within 30 days of the change. This notice should state both the name and address of the new bank that the deposit is held. The notice must be given in person or through the mail. The notice must also state whether or not the tenant will receive interest.

In Florida, a landlord can withhold a security deposit for:

  • Unpaid rent
  • Damage caused by the tenant beyond normal wear and tear
  • a tenant ended the rental agreement early.

When must a landlord return the deposit by in Florida?

Once the tenant moves out landlords should conduct a move-out inspection of the property. If there is no reason to retain any of the deposit eg. the property is returned in the same condition it was rented, then the landlord has 15 days to return the deposit.

If the landlord does want to withhold some or all of the deposit they have 30 days to notify the tenant. If they do not notify the tenant within this time they may not then withhold any of the deposit.

The notice should state the following:

“This is a notice of my intention to impose a claim for damages in the amount of {dollar amount} upon your security deposit, due to {reason for withholding deposit}. It is sent to you as required by s. 83.49(3), Florida Statutes. You are hereby notified that you must object in writing to this deduction from your security deposit within 15 days from the time you receive this notice, or I will be authorized to deduct my claim from your security deposit. Your objection must be sent to {landlord’s address}.”

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2. Florida Rental Agreement Laws

There are not many requirements for rental agreements in Florida. Oral agreements are legal and enforceable in Florida for tenancies less than 12 months. Tenancies longer than 12 months must have a written rental agreement.

Even though oral agreements are enforceable, it is still recommended to have a written agreement. With a written agreement it is much easier to prove what was agreed upon, and if the rental dispute goes to court it provides important clarification and proof.

Additionally, all communications should be in writing. For example, if the tenant requests a repair they should do so in writing. If a landlord wants to access the unit, they must notify the tenant in writing.

Florida Rental Agreement Laws Summary

  • When Rent is Due: At the beginning of each period and without demand or notice, unless a different agreement is reached. Rent is uniformly apportionable from day-to-day (83.46(1)).
  • Application Fees: No Statute.
    Late Fees: No statute (83.46)
  • Returned Check Fees: If payment is returned by a financial institution, the landlord can impose a service charge of $25 if the face value does not exceed $50; $30 if the face value is between $50 and $300; $40 if the face value exceeds $300, or 5 percent of the face amount of the check, whichever is greater (68.065).
  • Prepaid Rent: No Statute (83.46)
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): Yes, after the tenant provides written notice to the landlord that repairs are needed. The landlord has 20 days to make necessary repairs before the tenant is able to withhold rent. The tenant must pay the withheld rent once the repairs are made (83.201). Essential services are defined in Statute >83.51.
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: No Statute
  • Landlord Allow to Recover Court and Attorney’s Fees: Yes. The right to attorney fees cannot be waived in the lease agreement. (83.48, 83.55)
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: No, Landlord has no obligation to rerent during a breach of lease by tenant. For specific requirements, read Statute 83.595.

Lease Renewal in Florida

In Florida, when a lease expires, unless it is renewed, it is presumed to have terminated. However, if the lease agreement does not stipulate an exact lease end date, the tenant must notify the landlord of their intention to terminate or continue the contract.

If the landlord doesn’t want to rent to the same tenant again after the lease is completed, they can charge the holdover tenant double the rent after the lease expiry date.

The amount of notice that is required to terminate a lease is dependent on the lease length:

  • If it is an annual lease, the landlord or tenant must notify the landlord 60 days before the rental agreement expires.
  • If it is a quarterly rental agreement, the landlord or tenant must give 30 days’ notice before the lease expires.
  • For a month-to-month, the landlord or tenant must give at least 15 days’ notice. (apart from in Miami where it is 30 days notice).
  • For a week-to-week tenancy, the landlord or tenant must give 7 days’ notice.
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3. Florida Notices, Entry, and Evictions

When can a landlord enter the property?

  • Required Notice before Entry: 12 hours, unless otherwise agreed upon (83.53(2)).
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): 12 hours (83.53(2))
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: Yes (83.53(2b))
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: Yes (83.53(2d))

In Florida, landlords may enter the rental unit from time to time to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed-on repairs, supply agreed-on services, or show the unit.

Tenants cannot unreasonably deny their landlord access to the rental unit. However, landlords must provide the tenant with a reasonable amount of notice before entry. For a repair, the landlord must give the tenant 12-hour notice in writing. Repairs can be completed between 7:30 AM – 8:00 PM.

When can a landlord evict a tenant?

Landlords in Florida can evict tenants for these reasons:

  • In the case of a material breach of the rental agreement, or failing to pay rent
  • Intentional destruction, damage, or misuse of the landlord or tenants’ property
  • Continued unreasonable disturbance

If the reason why a landlord wants to evict a tenant is not something that the tenant should be allowed to correct, then the landlord can serve a notice requesting the tenant to move out in seven days.

The notice should include the following language:

You are advised that your lease is terminated effective immediately. You shall have seven days from the delivery of this letter to vacate the premises. This action is taken because (cite the noncompliance).

If the issue is something that the tenant should get an opportunity to fix, such as parking in another tenant’s parking spot, then the notice should state that the tenant has seven days to fix the issue. If the tenant does not correct the issue, then the landlord could proceed with the eviction.

This notice should say something similar to the following:

“You are hereby notified that (cite the noncompliance). Demand is hereby made that you remedy the noncompliance within seven days of receipt of this notice or your lease shall be deemed terminated, and you shall vacate the premises upon such termination. If this same conduct or conduct of a similar nature is repeated within 12 months, your tenancy is subject to termination without further warning and without being allowed to cure the noncompliance.”

Landlord-Tenant disputes in Florida are often resolved in favor of the landlord. Of our landlords surveyed in Florida, 78.3% of them have been to court for a landlord-tenant dispute. However, they win most of the time. Of the landlords we surveyed in Florida, 80% stated that they won in court.

Three-Day Notice

If a landlord wants to evict a tenant for failure to pay rent, then the day after rent is due the landlord must send the tenant a written notice stating that the tenant must pay rent within the next three business days or move out.

The notice should state something similar to the following:

“You are hereby notified that you are indebted to me in the sum of ____ dollars for the rent and use of the premises [address of leased premises, including county], Florida, now occupied by you and that I demand payment of the rent or possession of the premises within 3 days (excluding Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays) from the date of delivery of this notice to wit: on or before the ___ day of ___, (year). (landlord’s name, address, and phone number).”

Can if landlords accept partial payments?

If the landlord accepts a partial payment, they do not lose the right to evict the tenant. However, after the landlord accepts a partial payment, the landlord must issue another Three-Day Notice with the new amount of rent due to the landlord.

Ending the Tenancy Early and Withholding Rent

Before a tenant may end the rental agreement early, the tenant must notify the landlord in writing about the conditions that are making the unit unlivable. The notice must state whether the tenant intends to move out if the repairs are not completed. The landlord has seven days to comply with the notice from the tenant. If the landlord does not comply, the tenant can end the rental agreement early.

If the conditions in the unit require repair but the unit is still livable, the tenant may withhold part of the rent pending repairs. However, the withheld portion of the rent must be proportional to the loss in value of the rental unit in its state of disrepair.

The tenant must notify the landlord of the defect and give the landlord at least seven days to comply. If the landlord does not comply, then the tenant can withhold part of the rent.

Notice requirements for terminating a lease

  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Yearly Lease: Not less than 60 days prior to the end of any annual period (83.57(1)).
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Quarter to Quarter: Not less than 30 days prior to the end of any quarterly period (83.57(2)).
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Month-to-Month: Not less than 15 days prior to the end of any monthly period (83.57(3)).
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Week-to-week: Not less than 7 days prior to the end of any weekly period (83.57(4)).
  • Notice of date/time of Move-Out Inspection: No Statute
  • Termination of Lease for Nonpayment: 3 days Notice, excluding Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays. Specific language must be included in the notice, which is found in Statute 83.56(3)
  • Notice of Eviction for Lease Violation: Tenant has 7 days to remedy the issue or landlord can file for eviction and terminate lease (83.56(2)).

Other Important Notice and Eviction Regulations

  • Rent Increase Notice: No Statute (83.46)
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No Statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No (83.67(2))
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (83.67(1))
  • Penalty for a Self-Help Eviction: A landlord who performs a self-help eviction shall be liable to the tenant for actual and consequential damages or 3 months’ rent, whichever is greater, and costs, including attorney’s fees. Subsequent or repeated violations that are not contemporaneous with the initial violation shall be subject to separate awards of damages. (83.67(6))
  • Proper Notice for Abandoned Property: Yes, first-class mail, pre-paid postage (715.104), using the specific language found in Statutes 715.105, or 715.106. Review Statutes 715.104 – 705.111 for specific instructions and requirements for abandoned property.
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4. Florida Landlord/ Tenant Duties and Rights

Florida Laws on Repairs: Tenant’s Right, Landlord’s Duty

Landlords must ensure that the rental property they supply complies with state and local building and health codes. The building must be habitable and pose no threat to the inhabitant’s health or safety. If there are no applicable building codes, the landlord must keep the exterior and structural foundation in a condition that can withstand normal forces and loads.

Additionally, landlords must ensure screens are well maintained and are required to repair any screen damage once per year. What is more, the landlord must ensure the plumbing is in working order.

For landlords of apartment buildings, there are a few additional responsibilities that owners of SFH’s and duplexes are not required to abide by. These additional responsibilities for landlords of apartment buildings include:

  • Landlords of apartment buildings must install working smoke detectors in the rental unit.
  • The extermination of vermin and pests from the rental unit
  • Replacing locks and keys
  • Garbage removal
  • Running water and hot water
  • Heat during the winter

Florida Laws on Repairs: Tenant’s Right, Landlord’s Duty

Landlords must ensure that the rental property they supply complies with state and local building and health codes. The building must be habitable and pose no threat to the inhabitant’s health or safety. If there are no applicable building codes, the landlord must keep the exterior and structural foundation in a condition that can withstand normal forces and loads.

Additionally, landlords must ensure screens are well maintained and are required to repair any screen damage once per year. What is more, the landlord must ensure the plumbing is in working order.

For landlords of apartment buildings, there are a few additional responsibilities that owners of SFH’s and duplexes are not required to abide by. These additional responsibilities for landlords of apartment buildings include:

Landlords of apartment buildings must install working smoke detectors in the rental unit.

  • The extermination of vermin and pests from the rental unit
  • Replacing locks and keys
  • Garbage removal
  • Running water and hot water
  • Heat during the winter

The landlord and tenant can mutually agree that the tenant is responsible for some of the items listed above. However, this agreement must be stipulated in the lease agreement. If it is not stated in the contract, the land. ord will be held responsible for all of the above repairs and maintenance.

Tenants’ Rights Regarding the Landlord’s Duty to Repair

Should a landlord not fulfill his duty of repair tenants have two possible remedies they can pursue to remediate the issue.

  • The tenant may terminate the rental agreement early without punishment
  • The tenant may withhold a rent amount that is proportional to the loss of the unit’s value.
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5. Florida Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes

General Landlord Responsibilities

Landlords must provide, before the commencement of the tenancy, the name and address of the landlord or a person authorized to receive notices and communications and demands o the landlord’s behalf. (83.50(2))

The landlord is not responsible for any personal property that is left on the premises after the death of the tenant if they include the following clause in their agreement:

“By signing this rental agreement, the tenant agrees that upon surrender, abandonment, or recovery of possession of the dwelling unit due to the death of the last remaining tenant, as provided by Chapter 83, Florida Statutes, the landlord shall not be liable or responsible for storage or disposition of the tenant’s personal property.” (83.67(5))

Landlords may not include clauses in the lease that contradictor force parties to forfeit rights, remedies, requirements, or liabilities set forth by law. (83.47)

Landlord shall not prevent the tenant from displaying a United States Flag (83.67(4)).

Florida Laws on Retaliation

Landlords cannot retaliate against tenants for exercising their rights, such as filing a complaint to a government agency for a health violation or building code violation, participating in a tenants’ organization, notifying the landlord that they intend to move out, or withholding rent should repairs not be completed within seven days.

Retaliation is seen as an act of punishment in response to the tenant exercising their rights. For example, raising the rent, filing for eviction, or reducing services.

A landlord can counter claims of retaliation by showing that the eviction is in good cause with a showing of:

  • Good faith actions for nonpayment of rent
  • A violation of the rental agreement or a violation of reasonable rules

83.682 and 83.64

Disclosures

Lead Paint: If the property was constructed before 1978, federal law requires landlords to disclose the presence of known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in the dwelling before the tenant signs the lease or rental agreement. The landlord also must give the tenant a copy of the federal government’s pamphlet, Lead Poisoning Prevention Pamphlet.

Radon: Notification shall be provided on at least one document, form, or application executed at the time of, or before, contract for sale and purchase of any building or execution of a rental agreement for any building. Landlords must notify new tenants of the following notice regarding radon:

“RADON GAS: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that, when it has accumulated in a building in sufficient quantities, may present health risks to persons who are exposed to it over time. Levels of radon that exceed federal and state guidelines have been found in buildings in Florida. Additional information regarding radon and radon testing may be obtained from your county health department.”
(404.056(5))

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6. Florida Frequently Referenced Laws

Below we have collated references to areas of Florida rules and regulations that are often referenced and govern issues related to rental property management and landlord-tenant law.

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 83.49

  • If a landlord chooses to collect a security deposit there are three ways to handle security deposits: non-interest-bearing accounts, interest-bearing accounts, and surety bonds.
  • Security deposits cannot be commingled.
  • Landlords can choose between paying 5% simple interest per year or 75% of the annualized interest of the account the deposit is in.
  • Landlords can issue surety bonds for each rental unit, or if they have 5 or more units landlords can get a single surety bond with the Secretary of State.
  • For either surety bond option, landlords still must pay tenants 5% simple interest on their security deposit.

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 83.51

  • Landlords must keep rental units compliant with state and local building and health codes.
  • Where there are no applicable building codes, landlords must keep the rental unit in a condition where it could withstand normal forces, must make sure plumbing is working, and must repair screens at least once per year.
  • Landlords of apartment buildings ie. those renting out properties larger than SFH’s or duplexes must provide reasonable provisions for the extermination of vermin and pests.
  • Landlords must also provide reasonable provisions for locks and keys, garbage, running water, and clean and safe common areas.

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 83.53

  • Tenants cannot unreasonably deny the landlord access to the rental unit.
  • The landlord can access the rental unit for repairs, agreed-upon services, and display the unit to prospective tenants or buyers.
  • For repairs, the landlord must provide the tenant with 12 hours of notice.
  • Repairs can be completed between 7:30 AM – 8:00 PM.

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 83.56

  • A landlord can give the tenant seven days’ notice of termination of the lease if the tenant intentionally damages the unit or causes unreasonable disturbances.
  • The landlord can terminate the lease if the tenant breaches the rental agreement and does not cure the breach. The landlord must give the tenant seven days to cure the breach.
  • The landlord can terminate the lease for failure to pay rent. The landlord must issue a Three Day Notice to tenant.
  • Even if tenant partially pays rent, the landlord does not lose the right to evict the tenant.
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This article is designed to convey information, and not to provide legal advice. You should not consider any information in this article to be legal advice. Readers should consider obtaining specific legal advice from an attorney for any decision or course of action contemplated.

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