Florida Statute 83.51 Landlord’s obligation to maintain premises

The landlord’s obligations are to make sure that the living conditions are good for the tenant providing the tenant live a clean life, not destroying the property, leaving thrash around, cleaning up after their pets and etc.  Here is the law that states thaat the Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation are to have the apartment building inspected every year and they are not.  The Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is also required by law to report code violations to the proper authorities like Code Enforcement, but if the inspections are not done how are they going to report violations?

Read the Florida Statute on the Landlord’s Obligation.  This is another law that the State of Florida wants you to pay to have this law enforced instead of having the agencies or law enforcement enforce the building and health codes.

Florida Statute 83.51

83.51  Landlord’s obligation to maintain premises.

(1)  The landlord at all times during the tenancy shall:

(a)  Comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes; or

(b)  Where there are no applicable building, housing, or health codes, maintain the roofs, windows, screens, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads and the plumbing in reasonable working condition. However, the landlord shall not be required to maintain a mobile home or other structure owned by the tenant.

The landlord’s obligations under this subsection may be altered or modified in writing with respect to a single-family home or duplex.

(2)(a)  Unless otherwise agreed in writing, in addition to the requirements of subsection (1), the landlord of a dwelling unit other than a single-family home or duplex shall, at all times during the tenancy, make reasonable provisions for:

1.  The extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants, wood-destroying organisms, and bedbugs. When vacation of the premises is required for such extermination, the landlord shall not be liable for damages but shall abate the rent. The tenant shall be required to temporarily vacate the premises for a period of time not to exceed 4 days, on 7 days’ written notice, if necessary, for extermination pursuant to this subparagraph.

2.  Locks and keys.

3.  The clean and safe condition of common areas.

4.  Garbage removal and outside receptacles therefor.

5.  Functioning facilities for heat during winter, running water, and hot water.

(b)  Unless otherwise agreed in writing, at the commencement of the tenancy of a single-family home or duplex, the landlord shall install working smoke detection devices. As used in this paragraph, the term “smoke detection device” means an electrical or battery-operated device which detects visible or invisible particles of combustion and which is listed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., Factory Mutual Laboratories, Inc., or any other nationally recognized testing laboratory using nationally accepted testing standards.

(c)  Nothing in this part authorizes the tenant to raise a noncompliance by the landlord with this subsection as a defense to an action for possession under s. 83.59.

(d)  This subsection shall not apply to a mobile home owned by a tenant.

(e)  Nothing contained in this subsection prohibits the landlord from providing in the rental agreement that the tenant is obligated to pay costs or charges for garbage removal, water, fuel, or utilities.

(3)  If the duty imposed by subsection (1) is the same or greater than any duty imposed by subsection (2), the landlord’s duty is determined by subsection (1).

(4)  The landlord is not responsible to the tenant under this section for conditions created or caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of the tenant, a member of the tenant’s family, or other person on the premises with the tenant’s consent.

7 Responses “Florida Statute 83.51 Landlord’s obligation to maintain premises” →

  1. kimtraila williams

    February 16, 2009

    I was wondering if I can put this Florida Statute 83.51 Landlord’s obligation to maintain premises in my contracts as a landlord? Please respond ASAP.

  2. You can put anything in a contract but if what you put in a contract is illegal, either the whole contract will be discarded in court or just that part of the contact. Remember that Florida Statute 83.51 Section (2)(a) does not apply to single-family home or duplex. This section also does not apply to Mobile Homes either.

    Florida Statute 83.51 Section (2)(a) Unless otherwise agreed in writing, in addition to the requirements of subsection (1), the landlord of a dwelling unit other than a single-family home or duplex shall, at all times during the tenancy, make reasonable provisions for:,

    The best thing to do is try to get as much information in writing when putting a contract together. Put what is expected from each other so you can cut down the chance of becoming enemies when something goes wrong. Also it is always better to talk to an attorney about any contracts first. They are the people that deal with this type of situation when things go wrong in the courtroom where it counts.

    Sorry if I took so long to give a you a reply but I have been down sick with the flew.
    Anyway good luck with your contract and new tenants.

  3. Our landloard took over 2 months to fix our a/c, there are still bugs since the day i moved in and now they want me to fix the blinds that never workd properly from the day i moved in. in addition, with no a/c in the appartment i had to constantly open and close the blinds for mildly cool air. I sweat almost every night until this a/c was fixed. I want out of my lease and my deposite back with no penalties. what can i do? thanks.

  4. You can put anything you want in contract but if it is illegal then if you go to court that is when you will find out if it is good for you or not. The best thing to contact an attorney about contracts first.

  5. Our apt building floods along the backwall, and the result is a saturated foundation, standing moisture on our floors, and mold (black and white in color.. i havent had it tested yet) My property manager has been notified, in fact weve spoken to 5 different people in the office, and so far they have done nothing but pass the buck and string us along. The response to the pictures i emailed them of my daughters floor COVERED in the stuff was for me to reference the “mold addendum” in my lease packet (which to the best of my comprehension i am not in violation of) Is my landlord in violation of our lease agreement, what should be my next course of action if they do not make an effort to fix the issue?

  6. Hi Lottie
    Sorry about the problems you are having. The first step is to write everything down and take photos of the damages. Document everything including the people you talked to. Keep dates with them. Put everything in order now.

    The next thing you need to do is contact an attorney. You may get some help at Legal Services of Greater Miami. Their number is 305-576-0080 and they are located at 3000 Biscayne Blvd. Suite 500. They take calls from Monday through Thursday from 1:30 pm till 4:30 pm. and on Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00pm and from 1:30pm to 4:30pm.

    The next step is to write a letter to the Apartment owners or manager stating that you need these problems fixed. If not fixed in 7 days that you will withhold the rent. Keep in mine that you will still need to pay the rent if fixed in the 7day period. If not fixed do not pay the rent but don’t spend the money because if you go to court the judge will require you to put the money in the court system along with a small additional fee.

    You could also call the Building and Zoning and ask for an inspection. Call the Fire Department would also help.

    Keep in mine that these actions are legal by law but will create bad feelings between you and your landlords. They may try to make you leave by raising the rent or just giving you a hard time which is against the law but happens in real life. For more information on what to do go to, “The 2014 Florida Statutes, Title VI – Civil Practice and Procedures, Chapter 83 – Landlord and Tenant – Part II-Residential Tenancies.

    Now one of the most important steps you can take is to look up your State Representatives at “www.votesmart.org” and find your representatives, State House Representative and your State Senator, and call them and tell them that the Landlord/Tenant Laws need changing to help protect the Tenants instead of protecting the Landlords. There are so many laws that protect the Landlords and the cost to the Tenant is unreal as you will find out.

    Hope you are able to get this fixed. Good luck.

    Rnorman, Landlord Tenant Laws

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