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.

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49 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

  13. I leased a home and soon afterward noticed a roof leak. I contacted the landlord they kept promising to fix the roof. After two years I noticed black mold starting to grow. I also noticed I was having health issues such as itchy eyes and skin and tired lethargic. I contacted the landlord once again and told them something HAD to be done. They came in tore out the visible mold and left the mold in the walls and exposed sheetrock it was clearly visible..They refused to use a professional…What are my rights.

  14. Hi Pat
    No good news for you. You can push the issue but at the same time you will create hard feeling with your landlord which could create more problems. It depends on how pissed off you get the landlord at you. With that said:

    First you need to write a Seven-Day Notice requiring him/her to fix the roof and the Mildew Problem and any other problems. I just went to look for the law about the 7-Day Notice and couldn’t find it. The laws are at: Florida Statutes Write the 7-Day Notice anyway. In the Statues it tells you how to write the notice. This is a must before you start. Follow their instructions.

    I suggest you read the laws carefully. Then maybe call Legal Services of Greater Miami at 3000 Biscayne Blvd, Suite 500 Miami, Florida 33137 Phone 305-576-0080 for more information. They should talk to you for free. When you talk to them make sure you have all of your notes in front of you. Make sure you read your contract from top to bottom. If you have any questions ask the attorney at the time you talk to them. Make notes of all conversations, keep all records and start a diary of problems and date them. Record everything.

    As I was looking at the Florida Statues there has been many changes. Check with Legal Services. Just make sure you are ready for whatever before and not after you start this.

    Another thing you can do is call Health Department and Code Department have them check the Mildew and roof. Like I said that this will make the landlord mad at you…..

    If you have any more question please get back to me. I hope this helps you out.

    Good luck.
    Ronald Norman

  15. Mr Norman, I am not in Miami but I would like to see if I can ask your opinion,similar to some of the issues above . Can I do this here in the reply section or how can I ask you a question or two?

  16. Hi Diana
    Sure you can. Are you in Florida? The laws differ from state to state..What can I do?

    Ronald Norman

  17. Hello Sir, My apt. Building is owned by the consulate of Belgium. We have had Mice and Roaches since we moved in NOVEMBER. We have brought this to their attention numerous times. They have done nothing about it. Now I am behind in rent; do I have any leg to stand on, as far as withholding rent until they address the issues we have told them about for 6 months?

  18. Does all of this still apply if there was never a lease agreement signed from the beginning? I moved into this place a month or so ago, and was unaware of the absolute disgusting shape and non upkeep. Absolute roach infestation. I want to with hold anymore rent for a few weeks and use it as deposit on new place. Can I do this w/o being kicked out on the street for the time being?

  19. Sorry to hear about the problems you are having. To answer your question, first you must have your rent paid up-to-date. Then the next step is to send them a letter giving them seven days to do any repairs that are required including the Mice and Roaches. If they don’t fix the problems, then you can withhold the rent but make sure you follow the instruction within the Florida Statutes Chapter 83.
    Florida Statutes Chapter 83.
    It would be a good idea to read the full chapter.

    For more information, talk to an attorney and you can contact one for free at:
    Legal Services of Greater Miami
    3000 Biscayne Blvd Suite 500
    Miami, Florida, 33137
    305-576-0080

    Hope for the best.

    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.

    Thank You
    Ronald Norman

  20. The answer is no, you can not hold out your rent and use your Security Deposit ans rent. They can come back on you for that. Problem with that is that there is no guarantee that you will get your Security Deposit money back either.

    You would have to have your rent paid up-to-date and then write them a seven day notice requiring them to do the necessary repairs.

    Florida Statutes Chapter 83.

    It would be a good idea to read the full chapter.

    For more information, talk to an attorney and you can contact one for free at:
    Legal Services of Greater Miami
    3000 Biscayne Blvd Suite 500
    Miami, Florida, 33137
    305-576-0080

    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.


  21. sari fields

    August 25, 2016

    Retired social worker I advocate for low income seniors and the disabled. I recently came across an 82yr old woman disabled since open heart surgery several years ago. She lives with her 56year old son who was taken off the transplant list because a successful transplant was not ndicated at this point. They both reside in what is advertised as a senior community. Her son recently received Florida’s section 8 housing. The entire complex has had repeated outbreaks for at least 4 years. Management refuses to take the correct steps tinfeso eliminate the infestation permanently.As a result this elderly woman and her son have had to dispose of all the furniture in the hme.This woman does not even have abed.Her son has to sleep on a bedbug infested mattress on the floor.They have sprayed numerous times but they will not hire a professional company and there are more bedbugs than ever. Today they spoke to management again and were subjected to a shouting tirade about the fact that these tenants needed to stop harassing her about the bedbugs.Management also threatened to get their section 8 taken away,if they didn’t stop asking and reporting to other agencies for help.Can anyone tell what resource will act now.This 82 yr. old woman is sleeping on the floor.

  22. The best thing to do in this case is to contact Legal Services of Greater Miami, 3000 Biscayne Blvd, Suite 500, Miami, Florida 33137, 305-576-0080.
    Make sure you keep records of all that has happened between the Tenant and the Landlord. Try to get the names of the people that threaten you by saying that they would get their Section 8 taken away. That is illegal. I would talk to Legal Services first, the write the landlord a letter stating that they have seven days to repair all according to Florida Statutes Chapter 83. Florida Landlord/Tenants Laws
    It is very important to write that 7-Day Notice Letter letter and make sure you add all of what is wrong with the apartment. The Florida Statutes explains on how to write the letter and how to send it to the landlord. Make sure you keep copies of everything. Then contact the Health Department about the bugs. Again make sure you have given the Landlord the 7-Day Notice before you call the Health Department. Legal Services should help you with that. You also contact HUD who is in charge of the Section 8 and explain the situation to them and they should help.
    One thing to remember is that what these departments are suppose to do is one thing and actually making it happen is another. Also contact your State Representative and tell them that the Landlord/Tenants Laws need a major overhaul.
    If I can help out more contact me again.
    Thank You
    Ronald Norman


  23. Tracy Pride

    January 22, 2017

    I HAVE CONTACTED MY LANDLORD ABOUT TERMITES AND HAVE NOT HAD ANY RESULTS TO THE PROBLEM. DO I HAVE THE RIGHT TO WITHHOLD RENT UNTIL THIS ISSUE IS RESOLVED??

  24. Do you have the right to withhold the rent and the answer is “No” unless you have followed the Florida Statute Title VI, Chapter 83, Part II “Residential Tenancies. I was just looking through the statutes and there was a section that required you to write a letter to the Landlord stating that they had 7-Days to to fix the problem and that you were going to withhold the rent and that would have been your protection but I could not find it. I just don’t know if they removed it or I just missed it. You can read the Florida Statutes to see if you can find it and then follow the instructions there.

    “WARNING: DO NOT WITHHOLD THE RENT WITHOUT THIS LETTER, PERIOD”. That would be grounds on you to be evicted. Even after you withhold the rent do not spend the money because the judge will ask you to put it in the Court Registry and it must be put there that day he asks for it. The Court Registry only takes cash plus a service fee which will be added.

    I suggest that you read the Florida Statutes and then call Legal Services of Greater Miami at 305-576-0080 and ask them for their advice. This is a free service but it will take time, about a week to talk to an attorney, but you will get up-to-date information. By reading the Florida Statutes you will have the opportunity to ask the right questions.
    Make sure that you record everything that you do. Keep a record of when and who you talk to about the problems you are having with the landlord or the manager. Always try to have someone else with you when talking to the landlord or manager. Start writing everything down today. Keep an accurate record. That way you will be ready to talk to an attorney when they call you back from Legal Services.

    Write the letter demanding the landlord to do the necessary repairs referencing Florida Statute Chapter 83.51, Landlord’s Obligation to Maintain Premises and do that today. Send it by registered mail with return receipt. This will help you later if needed. It will also help if the landlord tries to Retaliate against you, 83.64 statue.

    Another thing you can do but it may cause you alot of problems is to call the Health Department and have them do an inspection. Landlords do not like that at all and may ask you to leave or give you a hard time. Really think about that.

    Then call your State Representatives and ask them to improve the Florida Statutes to protect the Tenants instead of the protecting the Landlords. Tell them of the problems you are having and that it takes thousands of dollars to hire an attorney to protect you against a bad landlord. Let them know that the Florida Statute Title VI, Chapter 83, Part II “Residential Tenancies is unacceptable for Florida Tenants because the statutes are only protecting the corrupt landlords. This is one of the most important things that you can do to keep it from happening to you again in the future.

    If you have any more questions please contact me again. Thank You and good luck getting your bug problem fixed.

  25. Can someone please help me? I am a tenant of a single family duplex. The place has a lot of issues that go against this FL Statute. I have asked multiple times verbally then written a Rent withholding letter that the landlord fix these issues. He refused and now is evicting me for non payment. Is this the right statute to look at or what can I do to defend myself in court? The place is crawling with termites, cracking all on the walls, water stains, black mold, broken AC unit that was infecting the air anyways. Electrical wiring keeps shortages, lights have gone off multiple times, heat system is so ancient and does not work properly, the bathrooms ventilation system does not work.

  26. Florida Statutes, Title VI Civil Practice and Procedure, Chapter 83, Part II Residential Tenancies (ss.83.40-83.809)
    This is the correct place to be. Make sure you have a copy of the letter that you sent of gave to the landlord. If you go to court you will need that letter and do not spend the rent money because the judge will ask you to put up all the back payments into the Court Registry along with a fee. The fee depends on how much the rent is.
    Contact Legal Services of Greater Miami and get more information on procedures. Do this now…..It takes about a week for them to get back with you. Their number is 305-576-0080. They just moved and I forgot to update the new address but call them.
    Write all responses down with the landlord and all conversations. Keep a record of all. Do this right away too.
    Find out about filing a counter suit when talking to the attorney because it may help you in the long run. This may have to be filed at the time you will be filling out your paperwork from the eviction notice. Read and reread the Florida Statutes so you understand them and can ask the attorney if you do not.

    I hope this helps. Feel free to get back to me later if you need.

    Good luck.
    Ronald Norman


  27. Lorena Percy

    May 26, 2017

    I have a tenant, and the washer and dryer are working properly. The only issue is that the space where they are, are a little narrow and the ducts bend and do not let water or heat flow properly. There is not more space so, I cannot break the wall or move the door or do something like this.
    She wants a new appliances, because she has to do like 2 or cycles to complete the wash.

    she called me yesterday, and told me she is going to file a complaint because she is not comfortable with the machines, and told me a lot of bad words that you can’t ever imagine.

    My question is: Is my obligation to buy a new machines?
    I sent a maintenance technician and told me that both machine are fine.

  28. Hello, I am the landlord. Yesterday I found out from our termite inspection company, Terminix that our tenants have been negligent. I am in shock to have seen in the photos the hundreds of termites in the cottage house. Terminix had no choice to break part of the wall and ceiling to see the damage, immense damage to the blanks of wood which need to be replaced besides paying $2,000.00 to Terminix for the subterranean termites which we are not covered for, besides paying for the new wood, repairs, etc. The tenants have taken the cottage as a storage. Aren’t they responsible to maintain the property in good standing? Isn’t this negligence on their part which the should pay for? It’s like if there is a leak and they never tell us. If I could send you the photos you would be shocked… Hundreds of termites all over the floor. Terminix said that if they would have notified us at the early stage it could have been treated locally and not cost us $2,000.00. Please advise. Thank you for your time, Alanna

  29. Hello. I live in a apt complex and have roof leaks, cracks in the ceiling and have to live with rodents such as squirrels and raccoons in the ceiling due to the landlord refuses to fix the issue. When the rodents die i am left to have to live in the smell for days and i am a asthmatic. When brought to the property mgt attention i was told its a part of life. Is there anything that i can do about this especially now that the issue is getting worse?

  30. On this particular problem you should talk to an attorney because of the equipment is working but not working correctly. The law does not say that you are required to have a washer or dryer and you are supplying them as an add-on. At the same time the law says that the equipment must work, but does not state working in full capacity.

    The answer to your question: “Is my obligation to buy a new machines?” and the answer is no because you can put used equipment in but that is not the answer when the water flow is the problem. What I don’t understand is why the water flow is not working right. Is it because of a bent hose because if the piping is correct then you would not have that problem. A bent hose would give you that problem in which it should be fixed.

    Keep in mind that you should talk to an attorney about this to get what happens in reality in the Court Room. I am not an attorney so keep that in mind as I do this to help out because of my dealings with bad landlords. I do not stick up for bad tenants either but stand for what is right either that be the Tenant or the Landlord because there are good and bad on both sides.

    If you cannot fix the washer or dryer, then you should maybe remove them when the tenant leaves. The tenant you have now must send you a letter to fix the washer and dryer within 7 days or they can withhold the rent and they you will have to take them to court is their only option to complain. That will cost them money but could cost you at a later date or maybe not depending what the judge says.

    Good luck with sorting this out and if you have any more questions please feel free to get back to me.

    Thank You
    Ronald Norman

  31. Hello
    I am really sorry about the Termite problem. Are they really responsible for the Termite problem, well, you would really have to prove that. They should have told you but since they are using it as storage then they would not have been there to see the problem. This is something that you really need to take up with an attorney.

    You would really have to sue them for the money but before you do that make sure that they have the money to pay. Just because you sue someone does not mean that you are going to get the money. They may not have the money to pay and then they can file bankruptcy and you lose everything, including the money you spent for the attorney to fight this case. This is something that attorney’s do not talk about. It could even take years and still not get any money. Depends on the situation with your tenant you should proceed with the suit or just flat out take the lost. Sometimes the lost is painful but cheaper in the long run.

    Talk to an attorney first. If you have any other questions please get back to me.

    Thank You
    Ronald Norman

  32. Yes, there is something that you can do but it will create hostility between you and the Landlord. Make sure you keep written records of all talks and the names who you talked to, take plenty of pictures or videos, and make sure they are dated.

    To start with go to Florida Statutes “Title VI, Civil Practice and Procedure”, “Chapter 83, Landlord and Tenant”, “Part II, Residential Tenancies (ss.83.40-83.809) and read.

    83.51 Landlord’s Obligation to maintain premises is the section that you need to read and totally understand but don’t leave the rest of the statutes out. Read all of them.

    If you decide to write the 7-Day Notice letter, remember that when you go to court you must pay the court the rent money plus a percentage for costs. They raise the costs since I used it a few years ago. Just remember that you must have the rent money or you will lose automatically and be evicted.

    You can also call the Health Department, Fire Department, and County Building Department and ask for inspections. This will definitely make the Landlord mad so make sure you also pay attention to 83.64 and 83.67. Keep notes on everything.

    To correct the problem, your landlord will not like you at all so keep that in mind and will most likely tell you “If you don’t like it, move.” This is against the law and you can use it in the 83.64 section of the law if needed.

    You may have another option if you call Legal Services of Greater Miami, 305-576-0080, but I would really not count on them for help. They will however point you in the right direction if you talk to an attorney there. You have to call after 1:30 pm and before 4:30 pm. Their website sucks and does not give the Landlord/Tenant Option for help. I was on it yesterday and had that problem, so call them.

    One more thing you need to do is to call your State Representative and tell them that the Landlord/Tenant Laws needs to be changed so you don’t have to put up thousands of dollars to get an attorney when bad landlords are the problem. One problem is the problem that people don’t know that laws are written against them until it is way too late and this needs to be stopped. Call, write, E-Mail your representatives and tell them to do something about the very bad Landlord/Tenants Laws.

    Remember that I am not an attorney and the information I give you is through personal experience. If you go to court, I strongly recommend that you get an attorney. If Legal Service help they will send them a letter and your chances of getting things done are much better.

    If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me again.

    Good luck
    Thank You
    Ronald Norman

  33. My question is, what if I rent a hotel but the fumigators NEVER showed up? Can I get reimbursed for the hotel since they never showed nor told me they cancelled?My question is, what if I rent a hotel but the fumigators NEVER showed up? Can I get reimbursed for the hotel since they never showed nor told me they cancelled?

  34. I am not sure what the courts would say about living in a Hotel because the laws are different. If they use the Chapter 83.01 as “Unwritten Lease Tenancy at will; Duration”, then the law states in Chapter 83 that you would have to give them a written notice giving them seven days to fix the problem. If you stayed more than seven days then you might have a case. You would really have to talk to an attorney for more about this but then they cost starting at $1,000 or more and can cost many thousands of dollars for what to get $200 back? Like I said you would really have to talk to an attorney to get more specifics on a case like this. You would do more good if you just file complaints naming the Hotels so other people will not go there.

  35. Hi, I just moved into a new apartment 5 days ago and I’ve been noticing bite marks along my legs, at first I thought maybe a mosquito bit me or something outdoors. After continuing to notice bite marks I decided to buy a flea trap as I had a feeling the previous tenant may have had a dog. I mentioned to my apartment manager that I had a feeling that there may be fleas in the unit and that I have bite marks. He told me that Florida has sand fleas and that I could get bites from them just by walking around and that they would have someone spray on Friday, meaning I would have to endure another 4 evenings of flea activity. Fine, I’m new to Florida so let me do some investigating. Within 2 hours of setting the flea trap I had evidence of activity. What are my rights at this point since I haven’t lived in this place all but 5 days and have bite marks and evidence of fleas.

  36. Hi Anthony
    Take photos of the Fleas and if you can save the traps with them. Then write a letter to your landlord asking him/her to fix the problem and that he/she was breaking the law by not having the building sprayed. If the problem is not fixed within 7-Days that you will be asking for your money back plus expenses or I will not pay any rent until we go to court. Read 83.51 Landlord’s obligation to maintain premises. and send him/her the entire section.
    You should read the the whole section of the Florida Statutes Chapter 83 so you know what to expect.

    This will make your landlord mad but it make sure you read 83.64 Retaliatory conduct. You may need it later.

    If you have any more questions fell free to get back to ma again.

    Ronald Norman
    Landlord Tenant Laws

  37. Hi, I am a tenant and we just moved into a property July 1. Our lease specifies that we have 3 parking spaces reserved for us. However there was issues with other tenants yelling at us and messing with our vehicles, because we were taking 3 spots. We contacted the landlord, and met them at their office, they said they would have a solution for us within a few days. A week went by, and they then sold the property to another company (our original lease is still in contact), so of coarse we followed up with the new owners and they knew nothing, so they said they’d call us in 24-48 hours, which they did, but with no answers. It’s now been 2 weeks since we talked to the new owners about it and we still are only using 2 of 3 spaces with our 3rd vehicle parked elsewhere. Not only that, but there is a hole in our front door (just on one side, but the door is hollow not solid) and we told them about that last week (two separate times via phone) and nothing has been done, there is another spot where there is a metal circular plate as if there was another hole there. Our bathroom window also does not close, and therefore our a/c doesn’t stay in the apartment, and it’s a waste of our electricity. We also have roaches and ants (both of which we have traps for). The new landlord has not even come to our property since they purchased and took over 2 weeks ago, we are sick of not getting answers or the help that we request. Especially with the front door and the parking space we haven’t been able to use at all since we moved in. What options do we have? We would really just like to get out of the lease if it is possible.

  38. Hi Sorry about the problems that you are having but this is a common thing with landlords and not enough people file their complaints to their state representatives about the very bad Landlord Tenant Laws so what happens is that the tenant has to pay to have the laws enforced which is not right. Whatever you do the landlord will get pissed at you for asking them to do their job according to the Florida Statutes and can create very bad feelings between you and the Landlord.

    The very first thing you want to do is to record or write all conversations down, keep all communications you have with the landlords or their managers, Take pictures of what you can and since you are getting harass by other tenants get their names and when you had a conversation with them.

    The very next thing you need to do is write a 7-Day Notice stating all of the problems and asking them to fix the problems within seven days or you will not pay the rent or you will cancel your contract. Check out The 2017 Florida Statues, Title VI Civil Practice and Procedures, Chapter 83 Part II Residential Tenancies (ss.83.001-83.251). I suggest reading all of the statues in this section so you will have a better idea what you are working with. Make sure you understand Chapters 83.46, 83.47, 83.48, 83.49, 83.51, 83.52, 83.54, 83.55, 83.56, 83.561, 83.57, 83.575, 83.64, 83, 67.

    When you write the 7-Day Notice make sure you follow the instructions within the Florida Statutes. When you are telling them your problem reference the section of the statute that pertains to your problem that requires them to do their job. Make sure you also include the Chapter 83.64, Retaliatory Conduct and such practices such as raising the rent, or telling me to move if you don’t like it would be considered retaliation. This may help later on. Write your letter because the law states that the landlord has seven days to fix any thing that is withing the Florida Statutes. This must be in writing and not just told to the landlord even though there is a section in the statutes that says otherwise but judges do not pay attention to that section at all. Write the letter..

    You can also call the Building Department and ask for an inspection, call the Fire Department and ask for an inspection. Keep in mind that these inspections may really piss off the landlord. Make sure you read the Florida Statutes before doing this. You can and should give Legal Services of Greater Miami a call at 305-576-0080 and get their recommendations but have everything ready before calling them. It will probably take about a week for them to get back to you. They will take your complaint and then an attorney will call you back if they take your case to help you.

    Also make sure you contact your state representative about the very bad Landlord Tenant Laws. Keep in mind that the landlord may refuse to do nothing and you will most likely lose your security deposit money unless you spend thousands of dollars to try to get it back with no guarantees. The Court System and these Landlord/Tenant Laws sounds good but they have many problems like corrupt judges, bad judges, and more. Do not go to court without an attorney period.

    If you have any more questions please get back to me.

    Ronald Norman
    Landlord Tenant Laws

  39. Ronald, we put down a 1525 security deposit and paid last months rent, do you think we will get either back? I’d hope to not lose $3,000. Thanks for your help!

  40. You will have to follow the Florida Statutes to the Tee. You will have to keep the rent up-to-date or you will never get your Security Deposit back. You may have hire an attorney. Call Legal Services. I have to go right now but if you have any more quesions get back to me.
    thanks

  41. How long does a landlord have to address concerns to health such as problems with windows and doors?

  42. The Florida Statute 83.51 state that the Landlord is required to maintain;

    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, 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. The landlord, at commencement of the tenancy, must ensure that screens are installed in a reasonable condition. Thereafter, the landlord must repair damage to screens once annually, when necessary, until termination of the rental agreement.

    83.54 Enforcement of rights and duties; civil action; criminal offenses.—Any right or duty declared in this part is enforceable by civil action. A right or duty enforced by civil action under this section does not preclude prosecution for a criminal offense related to the lease or leased property.
    History.—s. 2, ch. 73-330; s. 7, ch. 2013-136.

    83.56 Termination of rental agreement.—
    (1) If the landlord materially fails to comply with s. 83.51(1) or material provisions of the rental agreement within 7 days after delivery of written notice by the tenant specifying the noncompliance and indicating the intention of the tenant to terminate the rental agreement by reason thereof, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement. If the failure to comply with s. 83.51(1) or material provisions of the rental agreement is due to causes beyond the control of the landlord and the landlord has made and continues to make every reasonable effort to correct the failure to comply, the rental agreement may be terminated or altered by the parties, as follows:
    (a) If the landlord’s failure to comply renders the dwelling unit untenantable and the tenant vacates, the tenant shall not be liable for rent during the period the dwelling unit remains uninhabitable.
    (b) If the landlord’s failure to comply does not render the dwelling unit untenantable and the tenant remains in occupancy, the rent for the period of noncompliance shall be reduced by an amount in proportion to the loss of rental value caused by the noncompliance.
    (2) If the tenant materially fails to comply with s. 83.52 or material provisions of the rental agreement, other than a failure to pay rent, or reasonable rules or regulations, the landlord may:
    (a) If such noncompliance is of a nature that the tenant should not be given an opportunity to cure it or if the noncompliance constitutes a subsequent or continuing noncompliance within 12 months of a written warning by the landlord of a similar violation, deliver a written notice to the tenant specifying the noncompliance and the landlord’s intent to terminate the rental agreement by reason thereof. Examples of noncompliance which are of a nature that the tenant should not be given an opportunity to cure include, but are not limited to, destruction, damage, or misuse of the landlord’s or other tenants’ property by intentional act or a subsequent or continued unreasonable disturbance. In such event, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement, and the tenant shall have 7 days from the date that the notice is delivered to vacate the premises. The notice shall be in substantially the following form:

    You are advised that your lease is terminated effective immediately. You shall have 7 days from the delivery of this letter to vacate the premises. This action is taken because (cite the noncompliance) .
    (b) If such noncompliance is of a nature that the tenant should be given an opportunity to cure it, deliver a written notice to the tenant specifying the noncompliance, including a notice that, if the noncompliance is not corrected within 7 days from the date that the written notice is delivered, the landlord shall terminate the rental agreement by reason thereof. Examples of such noncompliance include, but are not limited to, activities in contravention of the lease or this part such as having or permitting unauthorized pets, guests, or vehicles; parking in an unauthorized manner or permitting such parking; or failing to keep the premises clean and sanitary. If such noncompliance recurs within 12 months after notice, an eviction action may commence without delivering a subsequent notice pursuant to paragraph (a) or this paragraph. The notice shall be in substantially the following form:

    You are hereby notified that (cite the noncompliance) . Demand is hereby made that you remedy the noncompliance within 7 days of receipt of this notice or your lease shall be deemed terminated and you shall vacate the premises upon such termination. If this same conduct or conduct of a similar nature is repeated within 12 months, your tenancy is subject to termination without further warning and without your being given an opportunity to cure the noncompliance.
    (3) If the tenant fails to pay rent when due and the default continues for 3 days, excluding Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays, after delivery of written demand by the landlord for payment of the rent or possession of the premises, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement. Legal holidays for the purpose of this section shall be court-observed holidays only. The 3-day notice shall contain a statement in substantially the following form:

    You are hereby notified that you are indebted to me in the sum of dollars for the rent and use of the premises (address of leased premises, including county) , Florida, now occupied by you and that I demand payment of the rent or possession of the premises within 3 days (excluding Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays) from the date of delivery of this notice, to wit: on or before the day of , (year) .

    (landlord’s name, address and phone number)
    (4) The delivery of the written notices required by subsections (1), (2), and (3) shall be by mailing or delivery of a true copy thereof or, if the tenant is absent from the premises, by leaving a copy thereof at the residence. The notice requirements of subsections (1), (2), and (3) may not be waived in the lease.
    (5)(a) If the landlord accepts rent with actual knowledge of a noncompliance by the tenant or accepts performance by the tenant of any other provision of the rental agreement that is at variance with its provisions, or if the tenant pays rent with actual knowledge of a noncompliance by the landlord or accepts performance by the landlord of any other provision of the rental agreement that is at variance with its provisions, the landlord or tenant waives his or her right to terminate the rental agreement or to bring a civil action for that noncompliance, but not for any subsequent or continuing noncompliance. However, a landlord does not waive the right to terminate the rental agreement or to bring a civil action for that noncompliance by accepting partial rent for the period. If partial rent is accepted after posting the notice for nonpayment, the landlord must:
    1. Provide the tenant with a receipt stating the date and amount received and the agreed upon date and balance of rent due before filing an action for possession;
    2. Place the amount of partial rent accepted from the tenant in the registry of the court upon filing the action for possession; or
    3. Post a new 3-day notice reflecting the new amount due.
    (b) Any tenant who wishes to defend against an action by the landlord for possession of the unit for noncompliance of the rental agreement or of relevant statutes must comply with s. 83.60(2). The court may not set a date for mediation or trial unless the provisions of s. 83.60(2) have been met, but must enter a default judgment for removal of the tenant with a writ of possession to issue immediately if the tenant fails to comply with s. 83.60(2).
    (c) This subsection does not apply to that portion of rent subsidies received from a local, state, or national government or an agency of local, state, or national government; however, waiver will occur if an action has not been instituted within 45 days after the landlord obtains actual knowledge of the noncompliance.
    (6) If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall comply with s. 83.49(3).
    History.—s. 2, ch. 73-330; s. 23, ch. 82-66; s. 6, ch. 83-151; s. 14, ch. 83-217; s. 6, ch. 87-195; s. 6, ch. 93-255; s. 6, ch. 94-170; s. 1373, ch. 95-147; s. 5, ch. 99-6; s. 8, ch. 2013-136.

    This should help you but remember that you have to follow these procedures.

    Write a letter giving them 7-Days to repair all problems. Send the letter with a signature required so you have proof that the landlord received the letter. This should be your first step and take pictures of the problems. Record all the dates that you asked for the repairs to be done and who you talked to. In the letter include the Florida Statute Section that you are referring to.

    Read the Florida Statutes Chapter 83

    If you have any other questions get back to me. Also remember if you have to go to court make sure you have an attorney.

    Good luck
    Thank You
    Ronald Norman
    Landlord Tenant Laws


  43. Carol Vicioso

    August 24, 2017

    Hi! My husband and I moved to Orlando from fort Lauderdale, and I drove our car while he drove up the moving truck. When I arrived one hour before the moving truck to our townhome rental, there were roaches crawling up the walls in both downstairs and upstairs areas. It’s been 2 weeks and the amount of work we have put into this place has been ridiculous. The landlord agreed to pay for the first month of treatment but we will have to pay for the remaining year. The lease agreement states that exterminating is our responsibility, but shouldn’t we have received a habitable home to begin with? Also, there are no screens upstairs, the front door is not at all sealed with gapping cracks all around the threshold, and the back door has a 3×3 gap on the bottom that was being covered by a dirty t-shirt the landlord left. Not only this, but the entire homes baseboards had huge gaps, the entire kitchen had major gaps and cracks between the walls, countertop and under cabinets. Nothing was sealed properly, which was something my husband and I had to do to the entire home to help diminish the huge roach problem. Is there anything we can do? We are tired of killing roaches and living out of boxes in fear of them getting into all of our stuff. Can we give a 7 day notice and leave?

  44. Hi Carol
    You may have to get an attorney since it is in your contract that you pay for the pest control. I am not sure on how the judges reacts to this because in the Florida Statutes 83.51 it states that the Landlord must maintain the “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.” Read the whole Statute. Also in the Statutes the landlord must comply with “83.44, Obligation of good faith.” Then there is a section that the Landlord is not allowed to put anything in a contact that is illegal. So it might be illegal to have you pay for bug control. This is why you must talk to an attorney first.

    You can also call the Health Department about the bugs and the Code Department in your area but keep in mine that this would make your landlord very, very mad. If you write a letter telling them of all the problems you are having and in that letter you reference the Florida Statutes to what you are talking about. I would also include Florida Statute 83.64 – Retaliatory conduct in your letter as a backup. Remember to follow the Florida Statutes on writing that letter.

    As far as your question, “Can we give a 7 day notice and leave?”, the answer is “No”. The landlord has seven days to fix the problem but after that and the problems are not fixed then you must talk to an attorney to find out what is the best procedure is because I do not have access to your contract with your landlord. There might be something in it that will prevent that from happening.

    Make sure you start writing everything down and take pictures. Record, write all conversations down. Keep an accurate record.

    Good Luck and if you have any more questions please get back to me.

    Thank You
    Ronald Norman
    Landlord Tenant Laws

  45. I’m going through the same problems. My property manager and landlord are clueless to the laws regarding these issues and quite frankly, they do not care that they are breaking them.

    My problem is that I can’t afford an attorney to represent me, therefore my rights will continue to be violated. This is just another example of the golden rule, “The ones with all the gold make all the rules”

  46. Hi, I live in a duplex. I’ve been living here about 8months and since the first day I moved in this place there was problems everywhere. I started noticing that the air wasn’t cooling up as it was suppose to and I never really paid much attention to it, 2months later the ac broke and they came to fix it and it was back on but again it was barely cooling on top of that we have no heat in this house for winter, the master bathroom has water coming out of the bottom of the walls every time we shower, we have ants all over the house , my sons room is infested with ants, I shave to vacuum everyday to get them out of there, my landlord has only sent one guy to exterminate the ants but they’re still there, the air insulation is from 1960’s everything in this house is wrong g and I’ve told them over and over again about these problems and till this day nothing has gotten fixed. My son has ant bites all over him, I have pictures as proof of every little thing g wrong with this house……. what can I do ??? Can I take my landlord to court ???

  47. Hi there
    Check out Florida Statutes 83.51 Landlord’s obligation to maintain premises. Read it and then follow the instructions on what to do. I suggest you read the whole Chapter 83 Landlord and Tenant Part II – Residential Tenancies so you are aware of the procedures. I also want you to check with an attorney before doing anything just to be on the safe side. If you have to go to court have an attorney with you. This can get expensive but you can ask for your money back if you win your case. When you write your 7-Day Notice make sure you reference the section in the Florida Statutes. Keep your pictures and also write everything down and keep a correct record of all conversations, letters, and pictures.

    You can call Legal Services of Greater Miami at 305-576-0080 and get some free help but it takes about week for them to get back to you. Have all of your information together before you call.

    If you have any other questions please feel free to get back to me.

  48. Follow the Florida Statutes Chapter 83. Read it carefully. Before you write the 7-Day Notice before you hold any rent money back period. You must have your rent up-to-date and the letter must be given 7-Days before the you hold any rent money back. Make sure you read the laws. If the rent is not paid up-to-date you will be evicted period. Reference all problems with the Florida Statute requiring the landlord to maintain. That you will find in Chapter 83.51 Landlord’s obligation to maintain premises.

    Good Luck and if you have any more questions please get back to me.

    Thank You
    Ronald Norman
    Landlord Tenant Laws

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