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Landlord-Tenant Issues: Frequently Asked Questions

Landlord-tenant law can be complex and confusing, especially for first-time landlords and tenants. Here are some frequently asked questions about landlord-tenant issues in Florida:


  • Q: When is rent due?

    • A: Rent is typically due on the first of the month, but the specific date should be specified in the lease agreement.

  • Q: What happens if I can't pay my rent on time?

    • A: If you can't pay your rent on time, you should contact your landlord immediately to discuss your options. The landlord may be willing to work with you on a payment plan, but they may also evict you if you do not pay your rent.

  • Q: Can my landlord raise my rent?

    • A: Yes, your landlord can raise your rent, but in some cases they must provide you with written notice of the rent increase at least 30 days in advance.

  • Q: Are there any rent control laws in Florida?

    • A: No, there are state laws in Florida that limit rent. This means that landlords are free to set their own rents, provided the landlord complies with local laws regarding notices required for large rent increases.


  • Q: Who is responsible for repairs?

    • A: The landlord is generally responsible for making repairs to the rental property, but the tenant may be responsible for certain minor repairs, such as replacing light bulbs and fixing leaky faucets. Typically, tenants of single-family homes will be responsible for maintenance and repairs than tenants of an apartment or condo.

  • Q: What happens if my landlord doesn't make repairs?

    • A: If your landlord doesn't make necessary repairs, you may be able to withhold rent until the repairs are made. You may also be able to sue your landlord for damages. You should always consult with an attorney before withholding rent. If you do not follow the required steps, you may be legally evicted for non-payment.

  • Q: What are my rights in an emergency situation?

    • A: If there is an emergency situation, such as a fire or a flood, you may have the right to make repairs to the property yourself and to deduct the cost of repairs from your rent. This should be addressed by the lease.

Security deposit

  • Q: How much can my landlord charge for a security deposit?

    • A: There is no Florida state law that limits the amount of a security deposit, but local municipalities may set a limit, so be sure to check you local laws. Typically, landlords charge a security deposit of up to two months' rent.

  • Q: When is my security deposit due?

    • The security deposit is typically due at the same time as the first month's rent.

  • Q: When will I get my security deposit back?

    • If the landlord is not planning to withhold any amount from the security deposit, the landlord is required to return your security deposit within 15 days of you moving out. If the landlord intends to withhold any amount of your security deposit, you must be sent a notice of the withholding in writing, by certified mail return receipt requested within 30 days. If you disagree with the amount being withheld, you should contact an attorney immediately to discuss your challenge to the withholding. 

  • Q: How can I protect my right to the security deposit?

    • Both landlords and tenants should take numerous photos and videos of the property at move-in and at move-out as evidence of the state of the property on both dates. The tenant will be responsible for any damages to the property​, but they do not have to pay for ordinary wear and tear. Photos and videos are vital in establishing what is "damage" and what is "ordinary wear and tear". 

  • Q: Can I pay a monthly fee instead of a security deposit ?

    • As of July 1, 2023, landlords can now offer the option of paying an upfront security deposit or a monthly fee. The tenant can choose to pay the non-refundable fee in monthly installments, or the tenant can pay the traditional security deposit, which is refundable less damages and other unpaid charges.​


  • Q: What are the grounds for eviction?

    • A: The most common grounds for eviction are non-payment of rent, lease violations, and damage to the property.

  • Q: What is the eviction process?

    • The eviction process begins with the landlord serving the tenant with an eviction notice. The eviction notice must state the reason for the eviction and the date on which the tenant must cure the violation or vacate the property. If the tenant does not vacate the property on the specified date, the landlord can file a lawsuit with the court to evict the tenant. If you receive an eviction notice, you should contact an attorney immediately.


  • Q: What is a lease?

    • A: A lease is a contract between a landlord and a tenant that outlines the terms of the tenancy, such as the rent, the lease term, and the tenant's responsibilities. The ideal lease addresses every possible issue that might arise, but no lease is perfect. If you have an issue that is not covered by your lease, or if you disagree over the interpretation of the lease, you should contact an attorney for assistance.

  • Q: What are my rights under a lease?

    • As a tenant, you have the right to quiet enjoyment of the property, which means that you have the right to live in the property without interference from the landlord or other tenants. You also have the right to have the property maintained in a habitable condition.

  • Q: Can I break my lease?

    • Yes, you can break your lease, but you may be liable for the remaining rent on the lease. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as if the landlord breaches the lease agreement or if you are a victim of domestic violence.

Landlord-tenant rights

  • Q: What are my rights as a landlord?

    • As a landlord, you have the right to collect rent, to evict tenants who violate the lease agreement, and to make reasonable changes to the property. Serving the proper notice is critical for a landlord to establish the right to terminate a lease.

  • Q: What are my rights as a tenant?

    • As a tenant, you have the right to quiet enjoyment of the property, the right to have the property maintained in a habitable condition, and the right to be free from discrimination.


If you have any questions about landlord-tenant law, you should consult with an attorney.

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