As a landlord, it can be challenging to stay up to date with every law related to leasing your property out. There are many legalities to consider, from what questions you can ask in a rental application to how much you can request as a security deposit. To make things a little easier for Brevard County landlords, in this article, we’re sharing five essential facts about Florida’s Landlord-Tenant law.
What Questions Can Landlords Ask in a Florida Tenant Screening?
Landlords in Florida can legally review a potential tenant’s credit history, rental history, and criminal history (as long as they have the tenant’s authorization). However, Florida landlords cannot inquire about any protected classes outlined by the federal Fair Housing Act, including race, color, national origin, family status, religion, sex, or disability.
Brevard County landlords can legally deny an application if the applicant has insufficient income to meet their financial obligations, minimal job history, or negative references from previous landlords.
How Much Can Landlords Charge For Security Deposits in Brevard County?
There is no maximum amount a Brevard County landlord can charge for a security deposit. However, landlords should aim to charge a reasonable amount, typically between one to three months’ rent. This will vary depending on the particulars of the rental agreement; for example, if the rental is furnished, the security deposit will likely be higher than unfurnished.
According to Florida law, landlords must give tenants a written record detailing where the security deposit is being held and the type of bank account it is being held in within 30 days of receipt.
How Much Can Be Deducted From a Security Deposit in Brevard County?
Landlords are permitted to deduct costs for damages beyond typical wear and tear. This can include but is not limited to; pet damage, damage caused by neglect or lack of maintenance, and unauthorized renovations.
If a landlord plans to deduct costs from the security deposit, they must let the tenant know within 30 days of the rental move-out date. Tenants have the right to respond and contest any deductions stated in the notice within 15 days of receipt.
When Can a Landlord Evict a Tenant in Brevard County?
Florida landlords can evict a tenant for issues such as failing to meet their lease terms or failing to make rent payments. If a tenant accidentally breaks their lease and the issue can be resolved, under Florida law, they must be issued with a “Seven-Day Notice to Cure,” giving them seven days to rectify the issue. If the problem is fixed, the tenant can stay on the property; however, the landlord can begin eviction proceedings if it isn’t resolved in the agreed timeframe.
What Rights Do Tenants Have in Brevard County?
There are four primary tenant rights set in place that Brevard County landlords should be aware of:
- Security deposit: Landlords must prove that deductions made from a security deposit are necessary. If they cannot, the tenant may receive the security deposit in full and, in some cases, with interest added.
- Right to private, peaceful possession of the dwelling: landlords can address repairs and conduct inspections with reasonable notice; however, tenants shouldn’t be bothered without warning.
- Withholding rent: Tenants can legally withhold rent if their landlord fails to uphold their responsibilities in the lease agreement. Before withholding rent, the tenant must give the landlord seven days’ notice of the issue. If the landlord does not resolve the issue, the tenant has the right to terminate the lease early.
- No lease agreement: If both parties do not sign a valid lease agreement, the tenant can leave for no reason, as long as they provide written notice of their intent.
Florida Landlord-Tenant Law
Although there’s a lot to know about Florida landlord-tenant laws, Rent In Brevard Property Management is here to help. Our licensed and experienced property managers can keep you updated with changing rental laws to ensure that your rental business runs smoothly. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive property management service.