A landlord hands keys to a tenant
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Florida is a popular state for investment property. Some landlords own their property because it is their primary income source and their business. However, other “landlords” may rent their vacation homes during part of the year or may have one or two investment properties they rent. The same is true for tenants. Some tenants may be long-term residents who rent their homes, while other tenants may be snowbirds or families here on vacation.

Regardless of the reason for the landlord-tenant relationship, it is important to understand your legal rights under Florida landlord-tenant laws. Our Florida real estate attorney discusses the top three landlord-tenant disputes in this blog and why you may require a real estate attorney if you face these situations.

Landlord-Tenant Dispute Number 1:  Evictions in Florida

Landlords have the right to evict a tenant for multiple reasons. Common reasons for evictions under state law include:

  • Failing to pay rent
  • Damage to rental property
  • Violation of lease agreement
  • Disturbing the peace
  • Failing to follow local laws
  • Lack of basic property maintenance
  • The lease has ended

A landlord cannot evict a tenant for personal reasons or as a retaliation. The landlord must have a valid, legal reason to evict a tenant. They must also have a legally binding court order for an eviction.

It can be costly to evict a tenant, especially a tenant who challenges the eviction. Furthermore, landlords who are not professional investors may be unfamiliar with the legal process to evict a tenant.

An attorney can help in numerous ways. First, a real estate attorney may help the parties negotiate a settlement to avoid legal actions for evictions. Second, if a legal eviction is necessary, a landlord-tenant attorney can handle the legal process because they understand Florida landlord-tenant laws and the eviction process.

Landlord-Tenant Dispute Number 2:  Unlawful Entry by Landlords

A landlord owns the property being rented. However, tenants have rights when renting the property, including privacy rights. A landlord cannot enter the rented premises without proper notice or authorization. There could be legal consequences if landlords do not follow state laws and lease agreement terms before entering rental property. Tenants can pursue legal action against landlords for trespassing if the landlord violated the law or the terms of the rental agreement.

As with an eviction, a real estate attorney may negotiate a compromise and settlement between the landlord and tenant without legal action. However, both parties need immediate legal counsel to understand their legal rights and the potential remedies the court could grant if the landlord trespassed.

Landlord-Tenant Dispute Number 3:  Security Deposits

Security deposits are another common landlord-tenant dispute that requires the help of a Florida real estate attorney. Most landlords require a security deposit from a tenant. Security deposits generally cover excessive property damage, unpaid utility bills, high cleaning costs, and unpaid rent. Landlords must follow the law for holding, returning, and refusing to return deposits.

Most security deposit disputes arise when a landlord refuses to return the security deposit to the tenant at the end of the lease agreement. The tenant has the right to sue the landlord for refusing to return the security deposit and seek damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees. A real estate attorney may be able to resolve the dispute through mediation instead of litigation, but if not, you want an experienced landlord-tenant attorney on your side if you need to go to court.

Learn More During a Consultation with a Florida Real Estate Attorney

Landlord-tenant disputes can be complicated and time-consuming. They can also be costly. Contact our Florida real estate attorney to learn your legal options and how we can help you resolve your landlord-tenant dispute as efficiently as possible.