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What are my legal rights and responsibilities as a landlord?

No matter if you own a condominium or apartment, renting a private space to another party makes you a landlord under the law. Florida real estate guidelines account for landlord obligations and protections, and outline procedures for dealing with disputes between tenants and landlords. Consequently, it is important for landlords to recognize their rights and responsibilities when it comes to tenant disputes and evictions.

The Florida Bar Association discusses tenant and landlord rights and duties, and explains that both are bound as parties in a legally-binding contract agreement. A written lease is not necessary to establish your legal rights or obligations as a landlord, and state laws override the terms of any written agreement that is created between you and the tenant.

As a landlord in the state of Florida, one of your primary rights is to receive financial compensation in the form of rent for the use of your property. Come the end of your rental agreement, you are also entitled to have your property returned to you undamaged. Beyond ordinary wear and tear, the property should be in the same condition at the time of being returned as it was when it was first rented.

It is also your responsibility as a landlord to comply with local, state and federal housing and real estate guidelines. For instance, you are obligated to meet all housing code requirements and provide any appropriate repairs necessary to ensure that the rental is safe for your tenant. Beyond that, you must allow your tenant to have peaceful possession of the property, and refrain from interfering unnecessarily.

It is also your right and responsibility as a landlord to follow rent and eviction procedures. While you are prohibited from discontinuing services and/or locking a tenant out of the property, you are allowed to pursue eviction proceedings through the court system.

Tenant eviction processes can be complicated in some cases, as you are required to follow a number of guidelines regarding eviction notice and rent collection. Therefore, the general information provided here cannot serve as legal counsel.

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