Overview of Landlord-Tenant Laws in Jacksonville, Florida
Did you know that Florida is one of the largest states in the US?
Just over 20 million residents are living in Florida and approximately 13% of them are renters (2,600,000 people).
If you take those numbers into account, there is a lot of individuals who choose to rent as opposed to owning a property of their own. With this significantly high number of renters, the state has come up with a great deal of laws to protect both tenants and landlords who live in Jacksonville, Florida.
Why It Is Important to Stay Up-To-Date with the Laws
Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, it is important to understand and stay up to date with the different landlord-tenant laws in Jacksonville, Florida. Laws change over time and if you are not aware of the changes, you may find yourself on the wrong side of them.
The last thing you want is to get sued because you were unaware of a law that changed in Florida. Just like with anything, you should always know what your rights are before doing something that could result in a lawsuit. This article will give you an overview of the landlord-tenant laws in Florida.
Florida Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act was brought into effect in 1968. This act states that no landlord can create rules that are not fair in a lease agreement. The landlord must not retaliate against the renters who abide by the Fair Housing Act.
Landlords must not limit their renters to using different services and/or facilities on the property. They must not discriminate against any race, colour, disability, or any characteristic that the tenant might have.
When a Lease is Signed
When a tenant and landlord sign a lease, it is a legally binding contract that can be taken to court in the case of one party not following the terms within it. Most of the time a lease is written (under certain circumstances it might be done orally) to ensure that it can be referred back to if need be. If it is done orally, it can be very difficult in court to prove to the judge that it was a term that was agreed upon before the tenant(s) moved in.
However, a lease should state all the legal details of the contract such as the terms of rent, the tenant’s rights, any information about pets allowed or not allowed on the property. Also, any repairs and who is in charge of fixing these them. It should clearly outline the dates that the tenant can move in and out of the rental property.
The agreement should describe the details of the security deposit. It should also state the termination of the lease and the actions one has to do in order to be terminated. If anything in the lease is not legally followed, then legal actions can be taken from both parties.
Make sure there is a clear description of your property included and that you take a walk through with each tenant that will be renting from you. It is recommended to jot down everything you have in your house or to take a video so you can be sure when you do the walkthrough that everything is there, and nothing is broken.
Again, the responsibilities of a tenant and landlord differ from state to state, however, in Florida a tenant is responsible for not destroying or damaging any belongings on the premises that belong to the landlord.
They need to make sure that all the plumbing and different fixtures remain in good condition at all times. Renters must keep up with the daily routines such as taking out the garbage and maintaining a healthy living environment. In essence, they are agreeing to abide by the health and safety laws.
The responsibilities of a landlord include ensuring that everything on the property is functioning and that tenants always have running water and heat during the colder months. The landlord needs to make sure that his or her tenants are living in a safe and clean home. They need to ensure renters have proper keys and locks on all windows and doors.
The Bottom Line
Keeping a healthy and positive landlord-tenant relationship is key when owning a rental property in Jacksonville, Florida. Keep communication clear at all times to avoid any miscommunication issues from arising.