Landlord and Tenant Representation by an Gainesville Real Estate Attorney
If you are a landlord or a tenant, you have certain legal responsibilities and duties under Florida's landlord-tenant laws. Lease agreements and rental agreements are binding legal contracts. Breaches of these contracts can result in substantial civil penalties. If you are involved in a landlord-tenant dispute, it is in your best interest to consult an experienced Gainesville landlord-tenant attorney immediately.
As a landlord or a tenant, you have certain rights that are protected by law. Call (888) 316-2131 to learn about your legal rights and your options for resolving a landlord-tenant dispute from our Gainesville real estate lawyer.
Common Issues Faced by Landlords and Tenants in Florida
Our Gainesville landlord-tenant lawyers handle a variety of matters and issues related to landlord-tenant law. It is important to seek the advice of an experienced lawyer if you are dealing with matters related to:
- Non-payment of rent or lease payments
- Security deposits
- Repairs and maintenance of leased premises
- Breach of terms contained in the lease or rental agreement
- Residential and commercial evictions
- Landlord-tenant litigation
- Negotiation and drafting of commercial lease agreements and residential rental agreements
- Disputes referred to arbitration or mediation
In many cases, a landlord-tenant dispute can be resolved without costly and time-consuming litigation with the assistance of an experienced Florida real estate attorney. Our lawyers are skilled negotiators, but we are also trained and experienced trial lawyers who do not shy away from taking a matter to court if that is in the best interest of our client.
Rights and Responsibilities of Tenants and Landlords in Florida
Under Florida's landlord-tenant laws, parties have specific legal rights and responsibilities. When a landlord violates a tenant's legal rights, the tenant can seek compensation for their losses and damages. Likewise, if a tenant takes actions that are prohibited by law, the tenant could face a monetary judgment for damages. Both parties have the right to file a civil action for damages in the event of a breach of contract.
Some of the laws applicable to landlords in Florida include:
- A landlord cannot turn off utilities for non-payment of rent or in an attempt to force the tenant to vacate the premises.
- Without a court order, a landlord may not change the locks on the rental unit to prevent access by a tenant.
- If a tenant refuses to leave and is behind on rent or lease payments, landlords must take legal action to evict the tenant.
- Without an eviction order, the landlord cannot remove personal property of the tenant from the rental unit.
- Landlords must return security deposits to tenants within 15 days after the lease ends or the tenant moves out unless a claim is made against the security deposit within 30 days by certified mail to the tenant.
- Some of the laws applicable to tenants in Florida include:
- Tenants cannot use the rental property for a purpose that is not covered by the lease agreement.
- A tenant is not permitted to withhold rent for a problem. The tenant must notify the landlord and allow the landlord to remedy the problem. If the problem is not correct, the tenant can take legal action against the landlord, but the tenant should not withhold rent payments.
- Tenants should not abandon the leased property during the term of the lease or stop paying rent payments unless they legally terminate the rental agreement.
- Tenants only have 15 days to object to a claim by the landlord against a security deposit. If the tenant fails to object to the claim in writing by certified mail before the deadline, the landlord may deduct the amount claimed and forward any remaining deposit to the tenant.
There are many other disputes between landlords and tenants than those listed above. In many cases, disputes arise during an eviction action. Even though commercial and residential evictions follow a specific process, landlords and tenants should seek legal counsel to ensure their rights are protected throughout the process.
Breach of Contract for Rental Agreements and Lease Agreements
The terms of a rental agreement or lease agreement are binding under Florida's contract laws. When a landlord or a tenant breaches the terms of a rental agreement or lease agreement, the other party has the right to file a legal action to seek damages. In some cases, an agreement may specify that the parties must take certain actions in the event of a dispute. It is very important that you follow the terms of the contract to avoid a judgment for damages and losses. However, some contracts may contain terms that are unenforceable by law.
If you believe the terms of your rental agreement or lease agreement are unlawful, contact our attorney. Our lawyer will review your contract and advise you of your legal rights and options regarding a rental or lease agreement dispute.
Call Now to Speak with an Gainesville Real Estate Attorney
Our Gainesville real estate lawyers can help you with matters related to landlord-tenant law in Florida. Contact our law firm by calling (888) 316-2131 to discuss your case with a Gainesville real estate lawyer.