Landlord’s Failure to Maintain Property and 7 Day Notice

Landlord's Failure to Maintain Property
Landlord’s Failure to Maintain Property

Many Tenants in Florida believe that they are allowed to withhold rent if the Landlord fails to maintain the property according to Florida Statute 83.51 (see below) or has violated the terms of the lease.  While withholding rent is a right afforded to a Tenant in Florida, it must be done so in accordance with Florida Statutes Chapter 83 and your Lease Agreement.   A Residential Tenant must give their Landlord a 7 Day Notice that they will be withholding rent if the Landlord does not correct the issues with the property within 7 Days.  Please note that if you’re a Tenant and you’re within 7 Days of the next time your rent is due, you need to pay rent and then send out your 7 Day Notice. If after your 7 Day Notice is made, problems are not corrected and you pay rent, you will need to send out a new 7 Day Notice. Following Florida Statutes Chapter 83 and your Lease Agreement is crucial to your protection. Above is just a primer and it is recommended you contact an experienced Eviction Attorney. Finally, please remember that if you withhold rent, your Landlord can still move forward with an Eviction against you for non-payment. However, you will have a strong defense if you send out a proper 7 Day Notice.   If you are a Tenant and feel that you have the right to withhold rent because of your Landlord’s actions,  contact the experienced Eviction Attorneys @ 954 Eviction Attorneys, PLLC. Our number is (954) 323-2529.  We serve Broward, Palm Beach and Dade Counties.

83.51 Landlord’s obligation to maintain premises.

(1) The landlord at all times during the tenancy shall:

(a) Comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes; or
(b) Where there are no applicable building, housing, or health codes, maintain the roofs, windows, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads and the plumbing in reasonable working condition. The landlord, at commencement of the tenancy, must ensure that screens are installed in a reasonable condition. Thereafter, the landlord must repair damage to screens once annually, when necessary, until termination of the rental agreement.

The landlord is not required to maintain a mobile home or other structure owned by the tenant. The landlord’s obligations under this subsection may be altered or modified in writing with respect to a single-family home or duplex.

(2)(a) Unless otherwise agreed in writing, in addition to the requirements of subsection (1), the landlord of a dwelling unit other than a single-family home or duplex shall, at all times during the tenancy, make reasonable provisions for:

1. The extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants, wood-destroying organisms, and bedbugs. When vacation of the premises is required for such extermination, the landlord is not liable for damages but shall abate the rent. The tenant must temporarily vacate the premises for a period of time not to exceed 4 days, on 7 days’ written notice, if necessary, for extermination pursuant to this subparagraph.
2. Locks and keys.
3. The clean and safe condition of common areas.
4. Garbage removal and outside receptacles therefor.
5. Functioning facilities for heat during winter, running water, and hot water.
(b) Unless otherwise agreed in writing, at the commencement of the tenancy of a single-family home or duplex, the landlord shall install working smoke detection devices. As used in this paragraph, the term “smoke detection device” means an electrical or battery-operated device which detects visible or invisible particles of combustion and which is listed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., Factory Mutual Laboratories, Inc., or any other nationally recognized testing laboratory using nationally accepted testing standards.
(c) Nothing in this part authorizes the tenant to raise a noncompliance by the landlord with this subsection as a defense to an action for possession under s. 83.59.
(d) This subsection shall not apply to a mobile home owned by a tenant.
(e) Nothing contained in this subsection prohibits the landlord from providing in the rental agreement that the tenant is obligated to pay costs or charges for garbage removal, water, fuel, or utilities.
(3) If the duty imposed by subsection (1) is the same or greater than any duty imposed by subsection (2), the landlord’s duty is determined by subsection (1).
(4) The landlord is not responsible to the tenant under this section for conditions created or caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of the tenant, a member of the tenant’s family, or other person on the premises with the tenant’s consent.

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