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.

13 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.
    Rnorman

  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.
    M.York

  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

  7. My daughter moved into a duplex in Immokalee and two days after moving in, she had to call an exterminator who told her she had the worse case of bed bug infestation he had ever seen. I know that that according to the statutes the landlord does not hold responsiblility to exterminate the duplex as maintanance protocol. However, shouldn’t he be responsible for extermination before a new tenant moves in. Thank you for your time and effort.

  8. Hi
    The landlord is required to maintain the exterminating of bugs and cockroaches according to:

    Florida Statute; 83.51 Landlord’s obligation to maintain premises.— (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 is not liable for damages but shall abate the rent. The tenant must 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.

    Just make sure that the Extermination is not written in your contract that you are to maintain the extermination of bugs and such. Always read the Rental Agreement before you sign it. Remember that these agreements are for the Landlords and not the Tenants. The problem is that most of the time the landlord will not tell you about these type of problems and you are in need of a place fast.

    The Landlord Tenants Laws can be found at The Florida Statutes Chapter 83

    Make sure you read Florida Statute 83.51, 83.54, 83.56, 83.57, 83.575, 83.60, 83.64.

    Now to get better answers, give Legal Services a call and ask them for their advice and it is free:

    Legal Services of Greater Miami
    3000 Biscayne blvd. Suite 500
    Miami, Florida 33137
    305-576-0080

    Legal Services will or should answer your questions as long as you are a tenant and not a landlord. they help out but only to a certain point, which sucks.

    Most important is to call and write a letter to you State Representative and tell them that the Landlord/Tenant laws needs to be change because there is no real protection for Tenants and all protections are for landlords. This is wrong. Most people do not complain about the law until it is way too late and by that time the tenants are screwed. Education on Landlord/Tenant Laws is much needed.

    Another place to complain is to your City and County Representatives. they are going to tell you that they have no say over the Landlord Tenant laws. Tell them that the Property Owners have taken over and is totally unacceptable and that you the to do something about the corruption within our local government when due to Low income housing.

    If you have any other questions and I can help please contact me again.

    Good luck in getting this taken care of.

  9. Thank you so much for all this information! Have a wonderful day:)


  10. Fab Ietor

    January 13, 2016

    Hi,
    I am a tenant renting a bedroom in a single-family house. A section of my contract specifies:
    “Landlord shall be responsible for compliance with section 83.51, Florida Statutes, and shall be responsible for maintenance and repair of the premises, unless otherwise stated below: (fill in each blank space with ‘Landlord’ for Landlord or ‘Tenant’ for Tenant; if left blank, Landlord will be responsible for the item.)”
    Then a list of items follows, which includes “extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants and bedbugs”, where space is blank, indicating that is a Landlord responsibility.
    My question is: I read that section 83.51, which includes instructions on premises maintenance, does NOT apply to single-family houses, like the one I’m renting. But, given the fact that a part from the section reference there is a printed list of items, including exterminations, is the Landlord obligated to provide a Pest control service, if I ask for it?
    Many thanks.

  11. I have a three bedroom house two bath, 1. Bug’s the landlord sent a so call bug man out and it did not work we have ants roaches, called landlord back about bugs he sent out the same bug man did not work landlord had us take photos and send them to him. We also did paper work with everything wrong with the house, microwave burnes every thing, have out let’s in bathroom’s do not work and most out let’s in the house do not work no window screens, cracks all around window’s doors, larges hole’s in sealing, faucet are about to come off, water heater on the shell has something yellow that looks like oil running down it. We cannot get him to fix anything me and my husband are disabled. Can we do anything to get all are money back. Thank you bharshbarger52@gmail.com

  12. House Rentals laws are a little different than Apartment Rentals. There should not be any differences but that’s the way our government works. They are paid to keep things screwed up so attorneys are needed to sort the many laws out and that the laws work for their donors. Landlord and Property Owners are big donors to political leaders. This is call legalized bribery or Money is Speech.

    To get better help than I can give, give Legal Services of Greater Miami a call and see what your options are. You can contact them at: 3000 Biscayne Blvd. Suite 500, Miami, Florida 33137, 305-576-0080. They should be able to help you. However, they do have certain rules and are not able to help all.

    To help keep this from happening in the future, contact your Local Representatives and tell them that you want them to push your State Representative to change the Landlord/Tenant laws so they work for all instead of rigging the laws for Landlords. Many complaint will have to be made in order to get anything done. Send a complaint to your State Representative. You can find your Representatives at Vote Smart http://votesmart.org/

    If you need any more help please get back to me.

    Please get back to and let me know how you did with your problem and how Legal Services helped or not with your problems.

    Thank You
    Ronald Norman

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