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What are your obligations as a residential property landlord?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2023 | Residential Real Estate |

Becoming a landlord is a great investment opportunity. With a rental property in your name, you can look forward to a lifetime of passive income. But being a landlord does come with its share of responsibilities too.

Chapter 83, also known as Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, governs the Sunshine State’s residential tenancies. As a residential property landlord in Florida, it is important that you understand your obligations as detailed by law.

The duty to ensure that your property is habitable

Under Florida statute, you have a legal duty to ensure that your rental property complies with applicable building and health codes. This means that a tenant can take action (such as withholding rent) if you fail to keep the property in a reasonably habitable condition. This is also known as the warranty of habitability.

The duty to maintain the property

Property maintenance protects your investment while ensuring that it is in a good state to attract maximum rent over time and a strong offer, should you put it up for sale. Some of the property maintenance responsibilities you must never overlook include:

  • Common area maintenance
  • Interior and exterior maintenance
  • Safety checks
  • Pest control
  • Trash and recycling management

Depending on the size of the building as well as the extent of the maintenance, you may consider outsourcing the role to a professional property manager.

The duty to understand and follow Florida rent rules

Every landlord wants a tenant who pays rent without hassle and does not break their tenancy agreement on flimsy grounds. In the event that you have to raise the rent or evict a tenant, you will want to be certain that you are not violating Florida rent adjustment or tenant eviction laws. For this reason, it is important that you have a sound understanding of the state’s rent rules.

A clear understanding of landlord obligations is crucial if you own a rental property in the Sunshine State. Don’t fail to seek legal guidance if you have questions, as you’d rather be safe in your understanding than sorry due to misconceptions about your responsibilities under the law.

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