Florida Landlord Tenant Act in 2014

In our blog today, we are talking about the Florida Landlord Tenant Act and how some changes have affected that law in 2014. Laws are always changing, and if you’re a landlord in the Tampa Bay area, you should be aware of those changes and how they impact your rental property. Today, we’ll go over some of the highlights of those changes and the parts of the law we think are most important.

Security Deposits

Beginning on January 1, 2014, all new leases are required to contain a new disclosure regarding security deposits. The disclosure addresses things like the handling of advance rent. It also states that a landlord must return the tenant’s security deposit within 30 days of that tenant moving out. The law now clarifies what happens if the landlord fails to send a notice of intent to make a claim against the security deposit within those 30 days. If that notice of intent is not done in a timely fashion, the new law requires the landlord to return all of the deposit.

Another change, which we think is really good, deals with the transfer of security deposits. Sometimes, when a property is sold from one landlord to another, there’s a possibility that the tenant can lose the deposit. It stays with the old landlord and the new landlord finds he doesn’t have it. Under the new law, there is a legal presumption that the new landlord will hold the tenant’s security deposit up to a maximum of one month’s rent.

Notice Period

Another area of change is the notice period at the end of the lease. Most landlords require in the lease that a tenant give 30 or 60 days notice if they are not going to renew the lease. The new law requires reciprocity. That means that if you as a landlord require 30 days or 60 days notice, then you must give your tenant equal notice if it’s your intention not to renew the lease. That keeps the law balanced and fair, which we think is a good thing.

Screens

We get a lot of questions from landlords about screens and whether they are required. New changes in the law make it very clear. At the beginning of a tenancy, the landlord is required to inspect a property and make sure the screens are in reasonable condition. The landlord is required to repair the screens once per year, and you must have them.

There are lots of other changes in the Landlord Tenant Act, and we recommend that you get a hold of that law if you are a landlord in Tampa. Contact us or give us a call if we can answer any questions at (813) 875-7474.