Renting a Florida Condo? What Should You Be Aware of in that Form Lease? Does it Reflect New Florida Landlord Tenant Laws Effective in 2013?

Posted By on September 6, 2013

For anyone wanting to rent a Florida condo or any Florida condominium owner thinking about leasing out their Florida condo as an investment, it’s important to know there have been changes to Florida landlord – tenant law that became effective this summer (effective on July 1, 2013) which may impact your decision to lease as well as your future landlord-tenant relationship should you decide to rent the condo.

Florida condo skyline

Florida has lots of condos for rent – think of the number of rentals in this photo of the Fort Lauderdale skyline, all with new laws in place as of July 1, 2013.

Florida Landlord – Tenant Law can be found in Chapter 83, Part II of the Florida Statutes. It is in this section of the Florida statutes where the legal requirements for landlords and tenants in leasing Florida condos and other Florida residences can be found.

There were several changes made to these statutes this year; here are some examples that will impact on renting Florida condos:

1. Florida Statute 83.64 Curtails Retaliation Against Tenant When Association Is Involved

Florida laws were changed this year that impact properties overseen by either Cooperatives, Condominium Associations, or Homeowners’ Associations. When the owner of the condo (or home or other property) is delinquent on his or her obligations to the association, then that group can try and get paid by demanding that the tenant living in the condo pay their rent to the association instead of the landlord.

That’s not new, that’s been Florida law. What the 2013 amendment does is make it illegal for the landlord to then retaliate against the tenant who did what the demand required: this makes things easier for the tenant stuck between a rock and a hard place when the landlord and the association are at odds, and it also helps the association meet its community responsibilities (like upkeep and maintenance of common areas, etc.). Landlords and Florida condo owners may not be as happy with the non-retaliation provision.

Here is the full text of this amended Florida law:

83.64 Retaliatory conduct.—

(1) It is unlawful for a landlord to discriminatorily increase a tenant’s rent or decrease services to a tenant, or to bring or threaten to bring an action for possession or other civil action, primarily because the landlord is retaliating against the tenant. In order for the tenant to raise the defense of retaliatory conduct, the tenant must have acted in good faith. Examples of conduct for which the landlord may not retaliate include, but are not limited to, situations where:

(a) The tenant has complained to a governmental agency charged with responsibility for enforcement of a building, housing, or health code of a suspected violation applicable to the premises;
(b) The tenant has organized, encouraged, or participated in a tenants’ organization;
(c) The tenant has complained to the landlord pursuant to s. 83.56(1); or
(d) The tenant is a servicemember who has terminated a rental agreement pursuant to s. 83.682.

(2) Evidence of retaliatory conduct may be raised by the tenant as a defense in any action brought against him or her for possession.

(3) In any event, this section does not apply if the landlord proves that the eviction is for good cause. Examples of good cause include, but are not limited to, good faith actions for nonpayment of rent, violation of the rental agreement or of reasonable rules, or violation of the terms of this chapter.

(4) “Discrimination” under this section means that a tenant is being treated differently as to the rent charged, the services rendered, or the action being taken by the landlord, which shall be a prerequisite to a finding of retaliatory conduct.

2. Florida Statute 83.56 Changes Eviction Process

There are several changes in the eviction process that became effective this summer, making it easier for Florida landlords to kick out people leasing their Florida condos. Tenants still face strict eviction procedures if they fail to pay rent or they do not abide by “reasonable rules or regulations” under the lease – but other lease violations give the tenant a bit of wiggle room.

Under Florida Statute 83.56(2), it is now Florida law for landlords to give the tenant a chance to cure a violation of the terms of the lease before any eviction process can start; however, if the tenant does the same thing again within the next year (the violation of the lease reoccurs within 12 months), then there’s no longer any need for the landlord to give another warning to fix things: the eviction process can start immediately. No second chance here for the waffling tenant under Florida law.

This is the complete language of Florida Statute 83.56(2):

(2) If the tenant materially fails to comply with s. 83.52 or material provisions of the rental agreement, other than a failure to pay rent, or reasonable rules or regulations, the landlord may:

(a) If such noncompliance is of a nature that the tenant should not be given an opportunity to cure it or if the noncompliance constitutes a subsequent or continuing noncompliance within 12 months of a written warning by the landlord of a similar violation, deliver a written notice to the tenant specifying the noncompliance and the landlord’s intent to terminate the rental agreement by reason thereof. Examples of noncompliance which are of a nature that the tenant should not be given an opportunity to cure include, but are not limited to, destruction, damage, or misuse of the landlord’s or other tenants’ property by intentional act or a subsequent or continued unreasonable disturbance. In such event, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement, and the tenant shall have 7 days from the date that the notice is delivered to vacate the premises. The notice shall be adequate if it is in substantially the following form:

You are advised that your lease is terminated effective immediately. You shall have 7 days from the delivery of this letter to vacate the premises. This action is taken because (cite the noncompliance) .

(b) If such noncompliance is of a nature that the tenant should be given an opportunity to cure it, deliver a written notice to the tenant specifying the noncompliance, including a notice that, if the noncompliance is not corrected within 7 days from the date the written notice is delivered, the landlord shall terminate the rental agreement by reason thereof. Examples of such noncompliance include, but are not limited to, activities in contravention of the lease or this act such as having or permitting unauthorized pets, guests, or vehicles; parking in an unauthorized manner or permitting such parking; or failing to keep the premises clean and sanitary. The notice shall be adequate if it is in substantially the following form:
You are hereby notified that (cite the noncompliance) . Demand is hereby made that you remedy the noncompliance within 7 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 your being given an opportunity to cure the noncompliance.

3. Florida Statute 83.62(1) Lets Landlords Evict on Weekends and Holidays

Florida Statute 83.62(1) applies to situations where there has already been a judgment of eviction and it’s a question of when the landlord can physically take possession of the condo. Under Florida law now, the Florida clerk must issue a writ to the local sheriff that puts the landlord in possession of the property within 24 hours notice being posted on the condo premises. It does not matter if this involves a legal holiday, a Saturday, or a Sunday. The notice gets posted and the clock starts ticking.

Here is the full text of the amended Florida Statute 83.62(1):

(1) In an action for possession, after entry of judgment in favor of the landlord, the clerk shall issue a writ to the sheriff describing the premises and commanding the sheriff to put the landlord in possession after 24 hours’ notice conspicuously posted on the premises. Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays do not stay the 24-hour notice period.

Larry Tolchinsky’s Tip:

These changes are now the law of the State of Florida, and these are three examples of several changes made to Florida landlord-tenant law. What about those lease forms that Florida landlords may have already printed and ready to use? Their language isn’t going to jive with the new laws — but there is a window where these pretty printed forms can still be used that ends on December 31, 2013.

The Florida statutes will control, however: landlords and tenants might consider checking with a Florida real estate attorney or Florida condo lawyer about amending these forms or revising language in lease documents to match what the law now requires from both landlords and tenants.

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Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to Chat with Larry in the comments below, at info@hallandalelaw.com, or (954) 458-8655. If you have a specific or personal situation, please call or email Larry because he can’t answer specific fact questions in general comments.

Comments

22 Responses to “Renting a Florida Condo? What Should You Be Aware of in that Form Lease? Does it Reflect New Florida Landlord Tenant Laws Effective in 2013?”

  1. Eugenia Caballero says:

    Hi , Larry

    I have a Quick Question that will required a legal advice.

    I own a house and i am renting it out . My last tenants moved in in august 2013 they ask me for mercy and to let them stay because they have no place to stay , and i agree to let them for a month , we made a one month lease , and they suppose to pay $650/month + $300 security deposit … but he only payed $250 and since he moved in he keep postponing me in the first week of September the pay $200 more their lease expire in the the same week but they ask me to give them some more time , then when i ask for money they told me they moved out , (they postpone their day 4 times) and last week i didn’t accept it.. and i ask them to leave … ( No money , no deposit was too much )…

    Their answer was :

    send us to Cort …we got 3 months till Eviction . And we won’t leave

    ……………………………………………………………………….

    I need your advice , i can’t wait 3 months without a payment , this is the only way to pay the mortgage… I need them out ASAP

    How fast I can Legally Kick Them Out ?

    Lease is Expired , no deposit , no monthly payment

    Thank You , Eugenia

  2. Hi Eugenia,
    First of all, please know that the time and effort you expended in commenting here is appreciated, however as you’ve noted at the top, it’s dealing with a personal matter and we aren’t able to answer those in blog comments. Please call our office for a free consultation if you’d like, we’re happy to help just can’t do it here, in the blog.
    Thanks so much!

  3. Hi Kirsten,
    Thanks for commenting here!

  4. Rejean Pelletier says:

    I am in my 10th year of renting a condo…. Thanks , Rejean

  5. Hi Rejean,
    We cannot answer personal queries in blog post comments, so we’ve edited your comment to protect your personal information and ask that you give our office a call (see the toll free number above?) for a chat.

    Thanks,
    Larry

  6. Corey Long says:

    I have a question im renting a condo … the lease is for two years is it illegal? I thought it was only 12 months let me know your advice thanks ..

  7. Hi Corey,
    We cannot answer personal queries in blog post comments, so we’ve edited your comment to protect your personal information and ask that you give our office a call (see the toll free number above?) for a chat.

    Thanks,
    Larry

  8. Alida Morris says:

    When I rented the condo I’m in. (FL), 5 years ago I gave the owner an option for me to sign a 5 year lease. I thought this was the place I’d be living for a long time. He told me certainly. We signed the lease and he started talking about how much would be better for me when he raises the rent. Being naive, I thought no increase for 5 years. WRONG. First he suggest the cost in living increase, which happened to be that year. Had no idea the cost would be XXX%. His other alternative was a straight $XX dollar increase. So for 5 years it’s been $XX every year instead of what I mistakenly thought. What is the most a landlord can increase the rent every year legally??
    Thank you.

  9. Hi Alida,
    We cannot answer personal queries in blog post comments, so we’ve edited your comment to protect your personal information and ask that you give our office a call (see the toll free number above?) for a chat.

    Thanks,
    Larry

  10. Dennis Henderson says:

    I live in a RV/trailer park in SW Florida. The rent is paid on a monthly basis….. Thank you in advance. Dennis

  11. Hi Dennis,
    Sorry if this is frustrating but we cannot answer personal queries in blog post comments, so we ask that you give our office a call (see the toll free number above?) for a chat. (We removed your personal info in the comment for your privacy and protection.)

    Thanks,
    Larry

  12. Susan Rosd says:

    Is it a Florida law that a landlord must provide a landline phone in a condo they rent?

  13. Hi Susan,
    Sorry if this is frustrating! However, we’re not allowed to answer personal queries in blog post comments, so we ask that you give our office a call (see the toll free number above?) for a chat.

    Thanks,
    Larry

  14. Katherine Belle says:

    I have entered into a yearly lease agreement of a beachfront condo, it was never disclosed to me Can I terminate my lease?

  15. Sorry if this is frustrating! However, we’re not allowed to answer personal queries in blog post comments, so we ask that you give our office a call (see the toll free number above?) for a chat. (Your oomment has been edited to protect your privacy.)
    Thanks,
    Larry

  16. Allan Foglio says:

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  17. Allan Foglio says:

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  19. Estrela Heard says:

    My friend has been without a phone or Internet for 20 days in her vacation rental. I thought this was illegal. What if there is an emergency in the night. They say they are fixing it. ….but nothing.
    Should we seek a lawyer

  20. Sorry if this is frustrating! However, we’re not allowed to answer personal queries in blog post comments, so we ask that you give our office a call (see the toll free number above?) for a chat about your situation.
    Thanks,
    Larry

  21. Bruce Ey says:

    May a condominium CAM or HOA evict an unruly lessee if the owner of the rented condo is out-of-state and not reachable. An example would be a group of spring breakers being drunk, disorderly and contrary to the overall enjoyment expected by other renters. NOTE: in this situation it is a given that a 7-day warning format woukd be intolerable to other renters/owners on property.
    Please cite FL statutes/exceptions

  22. Sorry if this is frustrating! However, we’re not allowed to answer personal queries in blog post comments, so we ask that you give our office a call (see the toll free number above?) for a chat about your situation.
    Thanks,
    Larry

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