Dedicated Landlord-Tenant Attorneys in Pensacola, Florida
Whatever your viewpoint, knowing your rights in Florida landlord or tenant disputes can help you save time and money. You need an educated and assertive landlord-tenant attorney to defend your best interests.
Brightwell Law has committed itself to protect Florida landlords and tenants. Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes contains the regulations governing landlord-tenant relationships in Florida. If litigation is unavoidable, our landlord-tenant attorneys in Pensacola, Fl, will rationally and tenaciously defend your rights. We have the knowledge and experience to assist you in reaching a favorable settlement.
Why Do I Need Landlord-Tenant Attorneys in Pensacola, Florida?
For Landlords in Pensacola, Florida
Landlords can also benefit from hiring one of our skilled landlord-tenant attorneys in Pensacola, Fl. If you are a landlord, we can help you perform the following:
- Preparation of Proper Lease Agreements. Most landlords lack the legal knowledge necessary to create effective lease agreements. You will require our landlord-tenant attorneys in Pensacola, Fl, to draft a lease agreement for you if you want it to be comprehensive and compliant with Fair Housing laws. If you currently have a lease agreement in place, we can analyze and make changes to it as an alternative.
- Rent Increase. Raising the rent is not something a landlord can do without following the proper procedure. You must comply with the State of Florida’s specific rules and regulations. You must give 15 days’ notice to end a month-to-month lease and 60 days’ notice to end a year-to-year lease.
Although it is not explicitly stated, it can be assumed that notifications of rent increases are subject to the same notice requirements. We can assist you in following the correct steps to ensure that all legal rent rules are followed.
- Security Deposits. The landlord has 15 days to restore the security deposit if you do not plan to submit a claim. If you want to keep all or part of the security deposit, you must notify the landlord in writing. Knowing what they can and cannot do with a security deposit is also advantageous to the landlord. Normal wear and tear of a property are expected, and a security deposit is not intended to be utilized for such damages. Thus, a landlord should not do so.
To ensure the legality of the landlord’s activities, it is advised to obtain legal assistance before deciding to hold a security deposit.
- Defense Against Personal Injury Claims. As previously mentioned, tenants may become ill or injure themselves on the leased property. Tenants can file a lawsuit for damages whether or not the landlord is at fault. However, landlords will want a suitable and convincing defense. To achieve that, you will want the assistance of our knowledgeable landlord-tenant attorneys in Pensacola, Fl, to gather proof and present your case.
- Eviction Process. If you need to evict a tenant, it can be a risky business. You must have valid reasons for eviction. Evictions may be carried out for failure to pay rent, breaking the lease terms, or engaging in unlawful activities. However, with our knowledgeable landlord-tenant attorneys in Pensacola, Fl, you may execute evictions more quickly and successfully. To ensure a seamless procedure, we already know which papers to create and which guidelines to follow.
For Tenants in Pensacola, Florida
When a landlord fails to meet the obligations outlined in a lease, a renter has certain rights. In Florida, a rental property or apartment has to meet certain standards. For tenants, hiring our skilled landlord-tenant attorneys in Pensacola, Fl, is often necessary if you experience one or more of the following:
- Property or Premises’ Habitability. The property must be livable and comply with all relevant regulations. A landlord must keep the property in habitable condition. A tenant may be able to break the lease and find another place to live, withhold rent until the issue is resolved, or have the repairs made and paid for and have that amount deducted from their rent if certain repairs are not being addressed and they render the property uninhabitable, such as a broken air conditioner or mold issues.
Landlords are required to offer a place that permits peaceful enjoyment. The landlord is not allowed to enter the apartment without giving prior notice. Only for very particular purposes, such as to make required repairs or to display the property to potential tenants, is a landlord only allowed to enter the property.
- Personal Injury. A landlord may be held accountable for injuries and damages if their negligence causes an accident on the rented property. You may, for instance, become ill due to mold development that your landlord neglected to fix. A loose or broken floorboard your landlord neglected to replace might cause you to slip and fall.
To succeed in court, you must provide evidence to support your claims. You will require the assistance of our landlord-tenant attorneys in Pensacola, Fl, during this circumstance.
- Damage to the Property. You cannot hold your landlord liable for every instance of damage to your personal property. However, if the damage happened due to their poor maintenance, you might ask your landlord to pay you back. For instance, your landlord can improperly replace the plumbing and cause your flat to flood, ruining your valuables.
There won’t be any issues if your landlord just agrees to repay you. But if your landlord refuses, you can work with one of our knowledgeable landlord-tenant attorneys in Pensacola, Fl, to assist you in pursuing compensation. Remember that your renter’s insurance may cover personal property damage.
- Termination. Tenant termination of a lease is possible, but only under extremely precise circumstances. The lease is crucial as always and can provide some insight into the circumstances in which you might be allowed to terminate the agreement and leave. You, as a renter, might be permitted to leave a property if it is unsafe to stay there or if there are other reasons to believe it is uninhabitable.
If termination is required, our knowledgeable landlord-tenant attorneys in Pensacola, Fl, will also walk you through the procedure. A tenant will need to give notice of termination. Knowing how to conduct this and what the landlord needs to be supplied for you to leave a property is crucial.
- Discrimination. Discrimination claims are more frequent than you might imagine, particularly in rental management. To obtain damages or end the discrimination, you will need legal representation if you believe your landlord has violated the Fair Housing Act by treating you unfairly.
While having the intention to discriminate would strengthen your case, there have been cases when landlords have been found responsible even when they had no such intention.
- Eviction With or Without Proper Court Procedures. Whether or not your landlord goes through proper court procedures, you can hire one of our skilled landlord-tenant attorneys in Pensacola, Fl, to help you fight an eviction. We can assist you in gathering information and mounting a defense if, for example, you feel that your landlord is merely evicting you as a way to retaliate against you.
On the other hand, if your landlord doesn’t follow the correct procedures, it is much simpler to challenge an eviction. For instance, we may argue that the eviction doesn’t count if your landlord evicts you without giving you notice (as required by state law).
Most states also forbid “self-help” evictions, in which your landlord changes the locks on you or evicts you violently without a court order.
What are the Federal Landlord-Tenant Laws and Regulations?
While most landlords and tenants in Florida will be concerned with state law, certain federal statutes may come into play. Congress has passed legislation, and federal agencies such as the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have issued regulations addressing discrimination and landlord responsibilities to disclose environmental health hazards such as lead-based paint.
Most federal statutory research begins with the United States Code. It is divided into 50 individual numbered titles, each of which covers a specific subject. Most federal rules are published in the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”), which is also divided into 50 distinct volumes by subject.
What is the Disclosure Requirement of Florida Landlord Tenant Law to Tenants?
A landlord must give tenants specific disclosures following Florida’s Landlord-Tenant Law. These include:
- The location of the deposit and the identity of the person authorized to act on behalf of the landlord.
- The landlord’s or the person authorized to act on their behalf’s address.
- Any non-refundable payments included in the rental or lease agreement, such as a non-refundable pet deposit.
- The tenant’s entitlement to establish a damages record before moving in.
- The tenant’s right to be present during the final inspection before leaving the property.
- A shared utility agreement exists in shared rental cases, where the shares are based on the occupancy percentage of the rented property. Any precise information related to the maintenance or installation of devices such as smoke detectors or alarms. The presence of any environmental or health dangers. Molds, bedbugs, lead-based paint, and radon disclosure are among them.
What Are the Prohibited Florida Landlord Tenant Laws on Lease and Rental Agreement?
Any provision in a rental or lease contract is void and unenforceable regarding law if it:
- Intentionally excludes or waives the Florida Statutes’ requirements, remedies, or rights.
- Any attempt to remove or reduce the landlord’s obligation to the tenant, or vice versa, is illegal.
What Are the Tenants’ Security Deposit Rights in Florida?
Residents of Florida are protected from some deposit rights under the state’s landlord-tenant law. Landlords must closely abide by these rules, including methods for keeping deposits, justifications for deductions, and the time frame within which tenants should receive their deposits returned after moving.
Is a Written Notice Needed After a Deposit Receipt in Florida?
Tenants must get written notice from the landlord. It must occur within 30 days after receiving the deposit. The notice must include:
- The name and address of the institution or bank that holds the deposit.
- If the deposit is retained separately or merged with other funds for the tenant’s benefit.
- The interest rate at which the deposit is held.
- The delivery method of the notification; is either via mail or in person.
What Can Be Taken From a Security Deposit?
As is the case in every state, landlords are permitted to deduct charges for damages that exceed the regular wear and tear of living in a rental. This might involve pet damages, rental negligence, unlawful improvements, and other issues.
Wear and Tear
- Carpet stains of varying severity
- A couple of minor scuffs on the wood floor
- Floor carpet fading from sunshine
- Soiled grout
- Door knobs that are loose
- The finish on the bathroom fixtures has deteriorated a little
- Shattered mirrors or windows
- Walls or doors with holes
- Doorknobs are missing
- Massive carpet stains
- Sinks, toilets, bathtubs, showers, and other fixtures that have deteriorated
Within 30 days of the rental move-out date, the landlord must notify the tenant of any deductions from the security deposit if they are required. Tenants also have the right to reply to the notification within 15 days of receiving it and to object to any deductions.
What’s the Maximum Rent Increase in Florida?
In Florida, a landlord is free to increase the rent by an unlimited amount. Landlords must give tenants early written notice of any planned rent increases, including the amount of the increase, the date the higher rate will take effect, and instructions on how to make monthly payments.
How Much Notice Can a Landlord Have to Give for a Rent Increase Request in Florida?
A rent increase notice of at least 30 days is often accepted for fixed-term leases, even though there are no clear requirements on how much notice a Florida landlord must provide their tenant. Additionally, Florida law mandates that landlords provide their tenants at least 15 days’ notice before a month-to-month lease expires.
When Can a Landlord Legally Evict a Tenant in Florida?
In Florida, landlords have the right to evict tenants who break the conditions of their lease or don’t pay their rent. According to Florida law, the landlord must send the tenant a seven-day notice to cure, which provides them that much time to make things right if they mistakenly broke the terms of the lease.
The tenant will be permitted to remain on the property if the problem is resolved. The landlord may start eviction if it isn’t resolved within seven days.
What Are Tenant Rights in Florida?
The law protects both landlords and tenants during the period of the lease. Here are four main tenant rights set in place that Florida landlords should be aware of:
The Right to Private and Secure Possession of One’s Dwelling
While landlords are permitted to fix issues and carry out inspections with sufficient notice of entry, tenants shouldn’t expect to be disturbed by their landlord without warning.
Rights to a Security Deposit
A tenant may be entitled to collect their security deposit in full and, in some situations, interest if they can show that deductions from it were unwarranted.
Refuse to Release the Rent
If a landlord fails to fulfill their obligations under the lease agreement, such as failing to maintain a safe and livable area, tenants have the right to withhold rent. If there is a problem, the tenant must give the landlord seven days’ notice. If the issue persists, the tenant has the option to move out and end the lease early.
No Formal Written Lease Document
Without a signed lease agreement, the tenant may vacate the premises without reason as long as they give written notice of their intention to do so.
Get in Touch with Landlord-Tenant Attorneys in Pensacola, FL, Today!
If you are a landlord, Brightwell Law can assist you in making sure everything you do complies with the law. We can also help you if you need to collect outstanding rent, evict a tenant, or if that tenant has filed a lawsuit against you.
For tenants, our law office provides informed legal advice when you feel your landlord has not been respecting your rights. You may have been told you will be evicted without reasonable cause, or your landlord may not be maintaining your rental at a safe level. Our group of knowledgeable landlord-tenant attorneys in Pensacola, Fl, will assist you in understanding your options and defending your rights. Our law office addresses our clients’ commercial, retail, and residential issues.