With a population of more than 20 million people, Florida is one of the largest states in the country. With so many people, it’s no wonder the state legislature has developed comprehensive landlord and tenant laws for renters and property owners throughout the state. These laws help create uniformity and predictability for Florida’s owners, renters, lawmakers, and lawyers.
When an individual pays rent to live in a house, apartment, condominium or mobile home, the renter becomes a “tenant” governed by Florida law – regardless of whether payment is made weekly, monthly or at other regular intervals. It also does not matter if the dwelling, be it an apartment, house, condominium or mobile home, is rented from a private individual, a corporation or a governmental unit (most of the time). This creates a level of certainty for owners and renters, even when there is no written “lease” agreement in place.
The responsibilities of the landlord and tenant may vary depending upon the rental or lease agreement and the type of rental unit. Generally speaking, tenants are entitled to the right of “private, peaceful possession” of the dwelling, whereas the landlord is required to rent a dwelling that is “fit” for tenants to live in. The landlord must also comply with all local health, building and safety codes, as well as pay for any repairs necessary to make the dwelling fit for habitation.
Common Reasons for Landlord and Tenant Disputes
Disputes between tenants and landlords may occur for any number of reasons, but generally, these issues fall into four common categories:
Security Deposit Disputes
Security deposit disputes are the most common form of disagreement between landlords and tenants. When a tenant vacates a property, they are obliged to leave it in the same condition as when they entered. If this is not the case, the landlord has the right to garnish the security deposit to make necessary repairs to the property. When landlords make undue, or unjust deductions, tenants may seek proof of these issues, as well as copies of any payments/checks made.
Rental agreements often universally include stipulations concerning the payment of rent and when it is due. When a tenant is habitually late in paying rent, or fails to pay entirely, landlords may seek a payment plan to recoup any outstanding rent and avoid the eviction process.
Personal Property Disputes
When tenants leave, either of their free-will or through eviction, they may forget property, which landlords might mistake for unwanted junk. If landlords sell or destroy these items and a former tenant returns seeking them, disputes may arise, potentially seeking replacement or reimbursement for the loss.
Property Condition Disputes
Property condition disputes often center on the issue of liability and may concern broken pipes, poorly sealed windows or doors, mold and mildew, paint issues, safety, or any other condition problems.
Contact an Experienced Landlord Tenant Dispute Attorney
Loshak Leach LLP represents both landlords and tenants in legal matters involving residential and commercial properties. Because these disputes can often become quite complicated, having an experienced landlord/tenant lawyer can help you achieve the most favorable outcome. Loshak Leach LLP is well-versed in providing legal services when a dispute arises between a landlord and a tenant.
We also render lease preparation and negotiation services, which are invaluable when substantial amounts of capital are involved. Because we represent both landlords and tenants, we are uniquely suited to assist our clients and quickly settle or achieve a favorable resolution. Contact us today at 508-375-7929.