Most Americans dream of owning a home. In reality, however, a greater number of Americans live in rentals. Landlord-tenant laws govern how landlords relate with their clients (tenants) during the tenancy period.
From non-rent payment to property damage, illegal use of property and breach of the tenancy contract, a Florida landlord can evict a tenant for a number of reasons. However, federal and Florida laws also protect tenants from certain landlord actions. Here are three things a landlord cannot do in the Sunshine state.
Accessing the rental property without proper notice
Even though the property technically belongs to the landlord, they cannot enter the rented premises whenever they want to. Florida statute requires landlords to give tenants reasonable notice before entering the premises. This should be at least 24 hours. And the notice should be made in writing and should clearly specify the reasons for access.
Unlawfully evict the tenant
As already indicated, a landlord can evict a tenant for a variety of reasons. However, those reasons must be legal, and they must follow proper channels when doing so. For instance, a landlord cannot evict the tenant without issuing a proper eviction notice. That said, a landlord cannot evict the tenant for illegal reasons such as their race or political or religious affiliation.
Unjustifiable rent hike
A lease contract is binding. Once it is signed, there are very rare circumstances under which the landlord can revise the rent. Some of these include:
- When the landlord significantly remodels the property
- When the tenant adds an additional pet contrary to the tenancy contract
- When a new tenant joins the household
The tenant can counter an unjustified rent hike with legal action.
Both landlords and tenants are protected by state and federal laws. If you are a landlord in Florida, it helps to know what you can, and cannot, do under the law.