Commercial Tenancy, Eviction, Foreclosure, Landlord-Tenant, Mold, Security Deposit, Self-Help, Termination

Top 3 Landlord Mistakes in Florida

Top 3 Landlord Mistakes in Florida
Top 3 Landlord Mistakes in Florida

As Broward and Palm Beach County Eviction Attorneys, we see Landlords make mistakes that cost them time and money. As a result, we have outlined the Top 3 Landlord Mistakes in Florida.

Not Following the Rules governing Security Deposits

An issue Landlords encounter is not timely returning it or imposing a claim on it.  83.49(3)(a) states that upon vacating for termination of the lease, if they do not intend to impose a claim, they have 15 days to return it.  On the other hand, they have 30 days to give their intention to impose a claim.  Therefore, it is important that they follow the rules to protect their rights. 954 Eviction Attorneys are here to assist and help you comply.

Not responding to a Notice to Withhold Rent

83.51(1)(a) and 83.51(1)(b) allow a Tenant to withhold rent if the Landlord fails to comply with applicable building, housing, and health codes.  Accordingly,  where there are no applicable building, housing, or health codes, they must maintain the roofs, windows, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair. At the beginning of the tenancy, they must ensure that the screens are installed in a reasonable condition. If the Landlord fails to respond and cure the violations addressed in the Notice, the Tenant can withhold rent or terminate the lease.   Therefore, it is important that the Landlord respond to the Tenant’s concerns. This can be avoided by providing the Tenant a habitable premises and respond to their maintenance issues.

Retaliating against the Tenant.

The reality is that many Tenants complain to the County if there are violations.  Although they may be incorrect,  a Landlord cannot retaliate against them by commencing proceedings.  83.64 states in part that:

(1) It is unlawful 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, because they are retaliating against 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 complained to a governmental agency charged with 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 tenant organization;

(c) The tenant has complained to the landlord pursuant to s. 83.56(1);

If they failed respond to the Tenant’s demands and they contact Code Compliance, they cannot raise their rent or evict the Tenant in retaliation.    This can be disastrous for a Landlord as most courts will find for the Tenant if good cause exists.

If you’re a Landlord or Property Manager and have issues with your Tenant, contact your Eviction Attorneys of 954 Evictions Attorneys, PLLC @ 954.323.2529. We have offices in Broward and Palm Beach to assist our clients.