Florida Landlord Tenant
FLORIDA LANDLORD TENANT LAWS
Chapter 83. Landlord and Tenant
Part I. Nonresidential Tenancies
This part applies to nonresidential tenancies and all tenancies
not governed by part II of this chapter.
83.01. Unwritten lease tenancy at will;
Any lease of lands and tenements, or either, made shall be deemed
and held to be a tenancy at will unless it shall be in writing signed by the lessor. Such tenancy shall be from
year to year, or quarter to quarter, or month to month, or week to week, to be determined by the periods at which
the rent is payable. If the rent is payable weekly, then the tenancy shall be from week to week; if payable
monthly, then from month to month; if payable quarterly, then from quarter to quarter; if payable yearly, then from
year to year.
83.02. Certain written leases tenancies at will;
Where any tenancy has been created by an instrument in writing
from year to year, or quarter to quarter, or month to month, or week to week, to be determined by the periods at
which the rent is payable, and the term of which tenancy is unlimited, the tenancy shall be a tenancy at will. If
the rent is payable weekly, then the tenancy shall be from week to week; if payable monthly, then the tenancy shall
be from month to month; if payable quarterly, then from quarter to quarter; if payable yearly, then from year to
83.03. Termination of tenancy at will; length of
A tenancy at will may be terminated by either party giving notice
(1) Where the tenancy is from year to year, by giving not less
than 3 months' notice prior to the end of any annual period;
(2) Where the tenancy is from quarter to quarter, by giving not
less than 45 days' notice prior to the end of any quarter;
(3) Where the tenancy is from month to month, by giving not less
than 15 days' notice prior to the end of any monthly period; and
(4) Where the tenancy is from week to week, by giving not less
than 7 days' notice prior to the end of any weekly period.
83.04. Holding over after term, tenancy at sufferance,
When any tenancy created by an instrument in writing, the term of
which is limited, has expired and the tenant holds over in the possession of said premises without renewing the
lease by some further instrument in writing then such holding over shall be construed to be a tenancy at
sufferance. The mere payment or acceptance of rent shall not be construed to be a renewal of the term, but if the
holding over be continued with the written consent of the lessor then the tenancy shall become a tenancy at will
under the provisions of this law.
83.05. Right of possession upon default in rent;
determination of right of possession in action or surrender or abandonment of premises
(1) If any person leasing or renting any land or premises other
than a dwelling unit fails to pay the rent at the time it becomes due, the lessor has the right to obtain
possession of the premises as provided by law.
(2) The landlord shall recover possession of rented premises
(a) In an action for possession under s. 83.20, or other civil
action in which the issue of right of possession is determined;
(b) When the tenant has surrendered possession of the rented
premises to the landlord; or
(c) When the tenant has abandoned the rented premises.
(3) In the absence of actual knowledge of abandonment, it shall be
presumed for purposes of paragraph (2)(c) that the tenant has abandoned the rented premises if:
(a) The landlord reasonably believes that the tenant has been
absent from the rented premises for a period of 30 consecutive days;
(b) The rent is not current; and
(c) A notice pursuant to s. 83.20(2) has been served and 10 days
have elapsed since service of such notice.
However, this presumption does not apply if the rent is current or
the tenant has notified the landlord in writing of an intended absence.
83.06. Right to demand double rent upon refusal to deliver
(1) When any tenant refuses to give up possession of the premises
at the end of the tenant's lease, the landlord, the landlord's agent, attorney, or legal representatives, may
demand of such tenant double the monthly rent, and may recover the same at the expiration of every month, or in the
same proportion for a longer or shorter time by distress, in the manner pointed out hereinafter.
(2) All contracts for rent, verbal or in writing, shall bear
interest from the time the rent becomes due, any law, usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.
83.07. Action for use and occupation
Any landlord, the landlord's heirs, executors, administrators or
assigns may recover reasonable damages for any house, lands, tenements, or hereditaments held or occupied by any
person by the landlord's permission in an action on the case for the use and occupation of the lands, tenements, or
hereditaments when they are not held, occupied by or under agreement or demise by deed; and if on trial of any
action, any demise or agreement (not being by deed) whereby a certain rent was reserved is given in evidence, the
plaintiff shall not be dismissed but may make use thereof as an evidence of the quantum of damages to be
83.08. Landlord's lien for rent
Every person to whom rent may be due, the person's heirs,
executors, administrators or assigns, shall have a lien for such rent upon the property found upon or off the
premises leased or rented, and in the possession of any person, as follows:
(1) Upon agricultural products raised on the land leased or rented
for the current year. This lien shall be superior to all other liens, though of older date.
(2) Upon all other property of the lessee or his or her sublessee
or assigns, usually kept on the premises. This lien shall be superior to any lien acquired subsequent to the
bringing of the property on the premises leased.
(3) Upon all other property of the defendant. This lien shall date
from the levy of the distress warrant hereinafter provided.
83.09. Exemptions from liens for rent
No property of any tenant or lessee shall be exempt from distress
and sale for rent, except beds, bedclothes and wearing apparel.
83.10. Landlord's lien for advances
Landlords shall have a lien on the crop grown on rented land for
advances made in money or other things of value, whether made directly by them or at their instance and requested
by another person, or for which they have assumed a legal responsibility, at or before the time at which such
advances were made, for the sustenance or well-being of the tenant or the tenant's family, or for preparing the
ground for cultivation, or for cultivating, gathering, saving, handling, or preparing the crop for market. They
shall have a lien also upon each and every article advanced, and upon all property purchased with money advanced,
or obtained, by barter or exchange for any articles advanced, for the aggregate value or price of all the property
or articles so advanced. The liens upon the crop shall be of equal dignity with liens for rent, and upon the
articles advanced shall be paramount to all other liens.
83.11. Distress for rent; complaint
Any person to whom any rent or money for advances is due or the
person's agent or attorney may file an action in the court in the county where the land lies having jurisdiction of
the amount claimed, and the court shall have jurisdiction to order the relief provided in this part. The complaint
shall be verified and shall allege the name and relationship of the defendant to the plaintiff, how the obligation
for rent arose, the amount or quality and value of the rent due for such land, or the advances, and whether payable
in money, an agricultural product, or any other thing of value.
83.12. Distress writ
A distress writ shall be issued by a judge of the court which has
jurisdiction of the amount claimed. The writ shall enjoin the defendant from damaging, disposing of, secreting, or
removing any property liable to distress from the rented real property after the time of service of the writ until
the sheriff levies on the property, the writ is vacated, or the court otherwise orders. A violation of the command
of the writ may be punished as a contempt of court. If the defendant does not move for dissolution of the writ as
provided in s. 83.135, the sheriff shall, pursuant to a further order of the court, levy on the property liable to
distress forthwith after the time for answering the complaint has expired. Before the writ issues, the plaintiff or
the plaintiff's agent or attorney shall file a bond with surety to be approved by the clerk payable to defendant in
at least double the sum demanded or, if property, in double the value of the property sought to be levied on,
conditioned to pay all costs and damages which defendant sustains in consequence of plaintiff's improperly suing
out the distress.
83.13. Levy of writ
The sheriff shall execute the writ by service on defendant and,
upon the order of the court, by levy on property distrainable for rent or advances, if found in the sheriff's
jurisdiction. If the property is in another jurisdiction, the party who had the writ issued shall deliver the writ
to the sheriff in the other jurisdiction; and that sheriff shall execute the writ, upon order of the court, by
levying on the property and delivering it to the sheriff of the county in which the action is pending, to be
disposed of according to law, unless he or she is ordered by the court from which the writ emanated to hold the
property and dispose of it in his or her jurisdiction according to law. If the plaintiff shows by a sworn statement
that the defendant cannot be found within the state, the levy on the property suffices as service on the
83.135. Dissolution of writ
The defendant may move for dissolution of a distress writ at any
time. The court shall hear the motion not later than the day on which the sheriff is authorized under the writ to
levy on property liable under distress. If the plaintiff proves a prima facie case, or if the defendant defaults,
the court shall order the sheriff to proceed with the levy.
83.14. Replevy of distrained property
The property distrained may be restored to the defendant at any
time on the defendant's giving bond with surety to the sheriff levying the writ. The bond shall be approved by such
sheriff; made payable to plaintiff in double the value of the property levied on, with the value to be fixed by the
sheriff; and conditioned for the forthcoming of the property restored to abide the final order of the court. It may
be also restored to defendant on defendant's giving bond with surety to be approved by the sheriff making the levy
conditioned to pay the plaintiff the amount or value of the rental or advances which may be adjudicated to be
payable to plaintiff. Judgment may be entered against the surety on such bonds in the manner and with like effect
as provided in s. 76.31.
83.15. Claims by third persons
Any third person claiming any property so distrained may interpose
and prosecute his or her claim for it in the same manner as is provided in similar cases of claim to property
levied on under execution.
83.18. Distress for rent; trial; verdict;
If the verdict or the finding of the court is for plaintiff,
judgment shall be rendered against defendant for the amount or value of the rental or advances, including interest
and costs, and against the surety on defendant's bond as provided for in s. 83.14, if the property has been
restored to defendant, and execution shall issue. If the verdict or the finding of the court is for defendant, the
action shall be dismissed and defendant shall have judgment and execution against plaintiff for costs.
83.19. Sale of property distrained
(1) If the judgment is for plaintiff and the property in whole or
in part has not been replevied, it, or the part not restored to the defendant, shall be sold and the proceeds
applied on the payment of the execution. If the rental or any part of it is due in agricultural products and the
property distrained, or any part of it, is of a similar kind to that claimed in the complaint, the property up to a
quantity to be adjudged of by the officer holding the execution (not exceeding that claimed), may be delivered to
the plaintiff as a payment on the plaintiff's execution at his or her request.
(2) When any property levied on is sold, it shall be advertised
two times, the first advertisement being at least 10 days before the sale. All property so levied on shall be sold
at the location advertised in the notice of sheriff's sale.
(3) Before the sale if defendant appeals and obtains supersedeas
and pays all costs accrued up to the time that the supersedeas becomes operative, the property shall be restored to
defendant and there shall be no sale.
(4) In case any property is sold to satisfy any rent payable in
cotton or other agricultural product or thing, the officer shall settle with the plaintiff at the value of the
rental at the time it became due.
83.20. Causes for removal of tenants
Any tenant or lessee at will or sufferance, or for part of the
year, or for one or more years, of any houses, lands or tenements, and the assigns, under tenants or legal
representatives of such tenant or lessee, may be removed from the premises in the manner hereinafter provided in
the following cases:
(1) Where such person holds over and continues in the possession
of the demised premises, or any part thereof, after the expiration of the person's time, without the permission of
the person's landlord.
(2) Where such person holds over without permission as aforesaid,
after any default in the payment of rent pursuant to the agreement under which the premises are held, and 3 days'
notice in writing requiring the payment of the rent or the possession of the premises has been served by the person
entitled to the rent on the person owing the same. The service of the notice shall be by delivery of a true copy
thereof, or, if the tenant is absent from the rented premises, by leaving a copy thereof at such place.
(3) Where such person holds over without permission after failing
to cure a material breach of the lease or oral agreement, other than nonpayment of rent, and when 15 days' written
notice requiring the cure of such breach or the possession of the premises has been served on the tenant. This
subsection applies only when the lease is silent on the matter or when the tenancy is an oral one at will. The
notice may give a longer time period for cure of the breach or surrender of the premises. In the absence of a lease
provision prescribing the method for serving notices, service must be by mail, hand delivery, or, if the tenant is
absent from the rental premises or the address designated by the lease, by posting.
83.201. Notice to landlord of failure to maintain or
repair, rendering premises wholly untenantable; right to withhold rent
When the lease is silent on the procedure to be followed to effect
repair or maintenance and the payment of rent relating thereto, yet affirmatively and expressly places the
obligation for same upon the landlord, and the landlord has failed or refused to do so, rendering the leased
premises wholly untenantable, the tenant may withhold rent after notice to the landlord. The tenant shall serve the
landlord, in the manner prescribed by s. 83.20(3), with a written notice declaring the premises to be wholly
untenantable, giving the landlord at least 20 days to make the specifically described repair or maintenance, and
stating that the tenant will withhold the rent for the next rental period and thereafter until the repair or
maintenance has been performed. The lease may provide for a longer period of time for repair or maintenance. Once
the landlord has completed the repair or maintenance, the tenant shall pay the landlord the amounts of rent
withheld. If the landlord does not complete the repair or maintenance in the allotted time, the parties may extend
the time by written agreement or the tenant may abandon the premises, retain the amounts of rent withheld,
terminate the lease, and avoid any liability for future rent or charges under the lease. This section is cumulative
to other existing remedies, and this section does not prevent any tenant from exercising his or her other
83.202. Waiver of right to proceed with eviction
The landlord's acceptance of the full amount of rent past due,
with knowledge of the tenant's breach of the lease by nonpayment, shall be considered a waiver of the landlord's
right to proceed with an eviction claim for nonpayment of that rent. Acceptance of the rent includes conduct by the
landlord concerning any tender of the rent by the tenant which is inconsistent with reasonably prompt return of the
payment to the tenant.
83.21. Removal of tenant
The landlord, the landlord's attorney or agent, applying for the
removal of any tenant, shall file a complaint stating the facts which authorize the removal of the tenant, and
describing the premises in the proper court of the county where the premises are situated and is entitled to the
summary procedure provided in s. 51.011.
83.22. Removal of tenant; service
(1) After at least two attempts to obtain service as provided by
law, if the defendant cannot be found in the county in which the action is pending and either the defendant has no
usual place of abode in the county or there is no person 15 years of age or older residing at the defendant's usual
place of abode in the county, the sheriff shall serve the summons by attaching it to some part of the premises
involved in the proceeding. The minimum time delay between the two attempts to obtain service shall be 6
(2) If a landlord causes, or anticipates causing, a defendant to
be served with a summons and complaint solely by attaching them to some conspicuous part of the premises involved
in the proceeding, the landlord shall provide the clerk of the court with two additional copies of the complaint
and two prestamped envelopes addressed to the defendant. One envelope shall be addressed to such address or
location as has been designated by the tenant for receipt of notice in a written lease or other agreement or, if
none has been designated, to the residence of the tenant, if known. The second envelope shall be addressed to the
last known business address of the tenant. The clerk of the court shall immediately mail the copies of the summons
and complaint by first-class mail, note the fact of mailing in the docket, and file a certificate in the court file
of the fact and date of mailing. Service shall be effective on the date of posting or mailing, whichever occurs
later; and at least 5 days from the date of service must have elapsed before a judgment for final removal of the
defendant may be entered.
83.231. Removal of tenant; judgment
If the issues are found for plaintiff, judgment shall be entered
that plaintiff recover possession of the premises. If the plaintiff expressly and specifically sought money damages
in the complaint, in addition to awarding possession of the premises to the plaintiff, the court shall also direct,
in an amount which is within its jurisdictional limitations, the entry of a money judgment in favor of the
plaintiff and against the defendant for the amount of money found due, owing, and unpaid by the defendant, with
costs. However, no money judgment shall be entered unless service of process has been effected by personal service
or, where authorized by law, by certified or registered mail, return receipt, or in any other manner prescribed by
law or the rules of the court, and no money judgment may be entered except in compliance with the Florida Rules of
Civil Procedure. Where otherwise authorized by law, the plaintiff in the judgment for possession and money damages
may also be awarded attorney's fees and costs. If the issues are found for defendant, judgment shall be entered
dismissing the action.
83.232. Rent paid into registry of
(1) In an action by the landlord which includes a claim for
possession of real property, the tenant shall pay into the court registry the amount alleged in the complaint as
unpaid, or if such amount is contested, such amount as is determined by the court, and any rent accruing during the
pendency of the action, when due, unless the tenant has interposed the defense of payment or satisfaction of the
rent in the amount the complaint alleges as unpaid. Unless the tenant disputes the amount of accrued rent, the
tenant must pay the amount alleged in the complaint into the court registry on or before the date on which his or
her answer to the claim for possession is due. If the tenant contests the amount of accrued rent, the tenant must
pay the amount determined by the court into the court registry on the day that the court makes its determination.
The court may, however, extend these time periods to allow for later payment, upon good cause shown. Even though
the defense of payment or satisfaction has been asserted, the court, in its discretion, may order the tenant to pay
into the court registry the rent that accrues during the pendency of the action, the time of accrual being as set
forth in the lease. If the landlord is in actual danger of loss of the premises or other hardship resulting from
the loss of rental income from the premises, the landlord may apply to the court for disbursement of all or part of
the funds so held in the court registry.
(2) If the tenant contests the amount of money to be placed into
the court registry, any hearing regarding such dispute shall be limited to only the factual or legal issues
(a) Whether the tenant has been properly credited by the landlord
with any and all rental payments made; and
(b) What properly constitutes rent under the provisions of the
(3) The court, on its own motion, shall notify the tenant of the
requirement that rent be paid into the court registry by order, which shall be issued immediately upon filing of
the tenant's initial pleading, motion, or other paper.
(4) The filing of a counterclaim for money damages does not
relieve the tenant from depositing rent due into the registry of the court.
(5) Failure of the tenant to pay the rent into the court registry
pursuant to court order shall be deemed an absolute waiver of the tenant's defenses. In such case, the landlord is
entitled to an immediate default for possession without further notice or hearing thereon.
83.241. Removal of tenant; process
After entry of judgment in favor of plaintiff the clerk shall
issue a writ to the sheriff describing the premises and commanding the sheriff to put plaintiff in
83.251. Removal of tenant; costs
The prevailing party shall have judgment for costs and execution
shall issue therefor.
Part II. Residential
83.40. Short title
This part shall be known as the “Florida Residential Landlord and
This part applies to the rental of a dwelling unit.
83.42. Exclusions from application of
This part does not apply to:
(1) Residency or detention in a facility, whether public or
private, when residence or detention is incidental to the provision of medical, geriatric, educational, counseling,
religious, or similar services.
(2) Occupancy under a contract of sale of a dwelling unit or the
property of which it is a part.
(3) Transient occupancy in a hotel, condominium, motel,
roominghouse, or similar public lodging, or transient occupancy in a mobile home park.
(4) Occupancy by a holder of a proprietary lease in a cooperative
(5) Occupancy by an owner of a condominium unit.
As used in this part, the following words and terms shall have the
following meanings unless some other meaning is plainly indicated:
(1) “Building, housing, and health codes” means any law,
ordinance, or governmental regulation concerning health, safety, sanitation or fitness for habitation, or the
construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy, use, or appearance, of any dwelling unit.
(2) “Dwelling unit” means:
(a) A structure or part of a structure that is rented for use as a
home, residence, or sleeping place by one person or by two or more persons who maintain a common
(b) A mobile home rented by a tenant.
(c) A structure or part of a structure that is furnished, with or
without rent, as an incident of employment for use as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one or more
(3) “Landlord” means the owner or lessor of a dwelling
(4) “Tenant” means any person entitled to occupy a dwelling unit
under a rental agreement.
(5) “Premises” means a dwelling unit and the structure of which it
is a part and a mobile home lot and the appurtenant facilities and grounds, areas, facilities, and property held
out for the use of tenants generally.
(6) “Rent” means the periodic payments due the landlord from the
tenant for occupancy under a rental agreement and any other payments due the landlord from the tenant as may be
designated as rent in a written rental agreement.
(7) “Rental agreement” means any written agreement, including
amendments or addenda, or oral agreement for a duration of less than 1 year, providing for use and occupancy of
(8) “Good faith” means honesty in fact in the conduct or
(9) “Advance rent” means moneys paid to the landlord to be applied
to future rent payment periods, but does not include rent paid in advance for a current rent payment
(10) “Transient occupancy” means occupancy when it is the
intention of the parties that the occupancy will be temporary.
(11) “Deposit money” means any money held by the landlord on
behalf of the tenant, including, but not limited to, damage deposits, security deposits, advance rent deposit, pet
deposit, or any contractual deposit agreed to between landlord and tenant either in writing or orally.
(12) “Security deposits” means any moneys held by the landlord as
security for the performance of the rental agreement, including, but not limited to, monetary damage to the
landlord caused by the tenant's breach of lease prior to the expiration thereof.
(13) “Legal holiday” means holidays observed by the clerk of the
(14) “Servicemember” shall have the same meaning as provided in s.
(15) “Active duty” shall have the same meaning as provided in s.
(16) “State active duty” shall have the same meaning as provided
in s. 250.01.
(17) “Early termination fee” means any charge, fee, or forfeiture
that is provided for in a written rental agreement and is assessed to a tenant when a tenant elects to terminate
the rental agreement, as provided in the agreement, and vacates a dwelling unit before the end of the rental
agreement. An early termination fee does not include:
(a) Unpaid rent and other accrued charges through the end of the
month in which the landlord retakes possession of the dwelling unit.
(b) Charges for damages to the dwelling unit.
(c) Charges associated with a rental agreement settlement,
release, buy-out, or accord and satisfaction agreement.
83.44. Obligation of good faith
Every rental agreement or duty within this part imposes an
obligation of good faith in its performance or enforcement.
83.45. Unconscionable rental agreement or
(1) If the court as a matter of law finds a rental agreement or
any provision of a rental agreement to have been unconscionable at the time it was made, the court may refuse to
enforce the rental agreement, enforce the remainder of the rental agreement without the unconscionable provision,
or so limit the application of any unconscionable provision as to avoid any unconscionable result.
(2) When it is claimed or appears to the court that the rental agreement or any
provision thereof may be unconscionable, the parties shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to present evidence
as to meaning, relationship of the parties, purpose, and effect to aid the court in making the
83.46. Rent; duration of tenancies
(1) Unless otherwise agreed, rent is payable without demand or
notice; periodic rent is payable at the beginning of each rent payment period; and rent is uniformly apportionable
from day to day.
(2) If the rental agreement contains no provision as to duration
of the tenancy, the duration is determined by the periods for which the rent is payable. If the rent is payable
weekly, then the tenancy is from week to week; if payable monthly, tenancy is from month to month; if payable
quarterly, tenancy is from quarter to quarter; if payable yearly, tenancy is from year to year.
(3) If the dwelling unit is furnished without rent as an incident
of employment and there is no agreement as to the duration of the tenancy, the duration is determined by the
periods for which wages are payable. If wages are payable weekly or more frequently, then the tenancy is from week
to week; and if wages are payable monthly or no wages are payable, then the tenancy is from month to month. In the
event that the employee ceases employment, the employer shall be entitled to rent for the period from the day after
the employee ceases employment until the day that the dwelling unit is vacated at a rate equivalent to the rate
charged for similarly situated residences in the area. This subsection shall not apply to an employee or a resident
manager of an apartment house or an apartment complex when there is a written agreement to the contrary.
83.47. Prohibited provisions in rental
(1) A provision in a rental agreement is void and unenforceable to
the extent that it:
(a) Purports to waive or preclude the rights, remedies, or
requirements set forth in this part.
(b) Purports to limit or preclude any liability of the landlord to
the tenant or of the tenant to the landlord, arising under law.
(2) If such a void and unenforceable provision is included in a
rental agreement entered into, extended, or renewed after the effective date of this part and either party suffers
actual damages as a result of the inclusion, the aggrieved party may recover those damages sustained after the
effective date of this part.
83.48. Attorney's fees
In any civil action brought to enforce the provisions of the
rental agreement or this part, the party in whose favor a judgment or decree has been rendered may recover
reasonable court costs, including attorney's fees, from the nonprevailing party.
83.49. Deposit money or advance rent; duty of landlord and
(1) Whenever money is deposited or advanced by a tenant on a
rental agreement as security for performance of the rental agreement or as advance rent for other than the next
immediate rental period, the landlord or the landlord's agent shall either:
(a) Hold the total amount of such money in a separate
non-interest-bearing account in a Florida banking institution for the benefit of the tenant or tenants. The
landlord shall not commingle such moneys with any other funds of the landlord or hypothecate, pledge, or in any
other way make use of such moneys until such moneys are actually due the landlord;
(b) Hold the total amount of such money in a separate
interest-bearing account in a Florida banking institution for the benefit of the tenant or tenants, in which case
the tenant shall receive and collect interest in an amount of at least 75 percent of the annualized average
interest rate payable on such account or interest at the rate of 5 percent per year, simple interest, whichever the
landlord elects. The landlord shall not commingle such moneys with any other funds of the landlord or hypothecate,
pledge, or in any other way make use of such moneys until such moneys are actually due the landlord; or
(c) Post a surety bond, executed by the landlord as principal and
a surety company authorized and licensed to do business in the state as surety, with the clerk of the circuit court
in the county in which the dwelling unit is located in the total amount of the security deposits and advance rent
he or she holds on behalf of the tenants or $50,000, whichever is less. The bond shall be conditioned upon the
faithful compliance of the landlord with the provisions of this section and shall run to the Governor for the
benefit of any tenant injured by the landlord's violation of the provisions of this section. In addition to posting
the surety bond, the landlord shall pay to the tenant interest at the rate of 5 percent per year, simple interest.
A landlord, or the landlord's agent, engaged in the renting of dwelling units in five or more counties, who holds
deposit moneys or advance rent and who is otherwise subject to the provisions of this section, may, in lieu of
posting a surety bond in each county, elect to post a surety bond in the form and manner provided in this paragraph
with the office of the Secretary of State. The bond shall be in the total amount of the security deposit or advance
rent held on behalf of tenants or in the amount of $250,000, whichever is less. The bond shall be conditioned upon
the faithful compliance of the landlord with the provisions of this section and shall run to the Governor for the
benefit of any tenant injured by the landlord's violation of this section. In addition to posting a surety bond,
the landlord shall pay to the tenant interest on the security deposit or advance rent held on behalf of that tenant
at the rate of 5 percent per year simple interest.
(2) The landlord shall, within 30 days of receipt of advance rent
or a security deposit, notify the tenant in writing of the manner in which the landlord is holding the advance rent
or security deposit and the rate of interest, if any, which the tenant is to receive and the time of interest
payments to the tenant. Such written notice shall:
(a) Be given in person or by mail to the tenant.
(b) State the name and address of the depository where the advance
rent or security deposit is being held, whether the advance rent or security deposit is being held in a separate
account for the benefit of the tenant or is commingled with other funds of the landlord, and, if commingled,
whether such funds are deposited in an interest-bearing account in a Florida banking institution.
(c) Include a copy of the provisions of subsection (3).
Subsequent to providing such notice, if the landlord changes the
manner or location in which he or she is holding the advance rent or security deposit, he or she shall notify the
tenant within 30 days of the change according to the provisions herein set forth. This subsection does not apply to
any landlord who rents fewer than five individual dwelling units. Failure to provide this notice shall not be a
defense to the payment of rent when due.
(3)(a) Upon the vacating of the premises for termination of the
lease, if the landlord does not intend to impose a claim on the security deposit, the landlord shall have 15 days
to return the security deposit together with interest if otherwise required, or the landlord shall have 30 days to
give the tenant written notice by certified mail to the tenant's last known mailing address of his or her intention
to impose a claim on the deposit and the reason for imposing the claim. The notice shall contain a statement in
substantially the following form:
This is a notice of my intention to impose a claim for damages in
the amount of __________ upon your security deposit, due to __________. It is sent to you as required by s.
83.49(3), Florida Statutes. You are hereby notified that you must object in writing to this deduction from your
security deposit within 15 days from the time you receive this notice or I will be authorized to deduct my claim
from your security deposit. Your objection must be sent to (landlord's address) .
If the landlord fails to give the required notice within the
30-day period, he or she forfeits the right to impose a claim upon the security deposit.
(b) Unless the tenant objects to the imposition of the landlord's
claim or the amount thereof within 15 days after receipt of the landlord's notice of intention to impose a claim,
the landlord may then deduct the amount of his or her claim and shall remit the balance of the deposit to the
tenant within 30 days after the date of the notice of intention to impose a claim for damages.
(c) If either party institutes an action in a court of competent
jurisdiction to adjudicate the party's right to the security deposit, the prevailing party is entitled to receive
his or her court costs plus a reasonable fee for his or her attorney. The court shall advance the cause on the
(d) Compliance with this section by an individual or business
entity authorized to conduct business in this state, including Florida-licensed real estate brokers and sales
associates, shall constitute compliance with all other relevant Florida Statutes pertaining to security deposits
held pursuant to a rental agreement or other landlord-tenant relationship. Enforcement personnel shall look solely
to this section to determine compliance. This section prevails over any conflicting provisions in chapter 475 and
in other sections of the Florida Statutes, and shall operate to permit licensed real estate brokers to disburse
security deposits and deposit money without having to comply with the notice and settlement procedures contained in
(4) The provisions of this section do not apply to transient
rentals by hotels or motels as defined in chapter 509; nor do they apply in those instances in which the amount of
rent or deposit, or both, is regulated by law or by rules or regulations of a public body, including public housing
authorities and federally administered or regulated housing programs including s. 202, s. 221(d)(3) and (4), s.
236, or s. 8 of the National Housing Act, as amended, other than for rent stabilization. With the exception of
subsections (3), (5), and (6), this section is not applicable to housing authorities or public housing agencies
created pursuant to chapter 421 or other statutes.
(5) Except when otherwise provided by the terms of a written
lease, any tenant who vacates or abandons the premises prior to the expiration of the term specified in the written
lease, or any tenant who vacates or abandons premises which are the subject of a tenancy from week to week, month
to month, quarter to quarter, or year to year, shall give at least 7 days' written notice by certified mail or
personal delivery to the landlord prior to vacating or abandoning the premises which notice shall include the
address where the tenant may be reached. Failure to give such notice shall relieve the landlord of the notice
requirement of paragraph (3)(a) but shall not waive any right the tenant may have to the security deposit or any
part of it.
(6) For the purposes of this part, a renewal of an existing rental
agreement shall be considered a new rental agreement, and any security deposit carried forward shall be considered
a new security deposit.
(7) Upon the sale or transfer of title of the rental property from
one owner to another, or upon a change in the designated rental agent, any and all security deposits or advance
rents being held for the benefit of the tenants shall be transferred to the new owner or agent, together with any
earned interest and with an accurate accounting showing the amounts to be credited to each tenant account. Upon the
transfer of such funds and records as stated herein, and upon transmittal of a written receipt therefor, the
transferor shall be free from the obligation imposed in subsection (1) to hold such moneys on behalf of the tenant.
However, nothing herein shall excuse the landlord or agent for a violation of the provisions of this section while
in possession of such deposits.
(8) Any person licensed under the provisions of s. 509.241, unless
excluded by the provisions of this part, who fails to comply with the provisions of this part shall be subject to a
fine or to the suspension or revocation of his or her license by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the
Department of Business and Professional Regulation in the manner provided in s. 509.261.
(9) In those cases in which interest is required to be paid to the
tenant, the landlord shall pay directly to the tenant, or credit against the current month's rent, the interest due
to the tenant at least once annually. However, no interest shall be due a tenant who wrongfully terminates his or
her tenancy prior to the end of the rental term.
(1) The landlord, or a person authorized to enter into a rental
agreement on the landlord's behalf, shall disclose in writing to the tenant, at or before the commencement of the
tenancy, the name and address of the landlord or a person authorized to receive notices and demands in the
landlord's behalf. The person so authorized to receive notices and demands retains authority until the tenant is
notified otherwise. All notices of such names and addresses or changes thereto shall be delivered to the tenant's
residence or, if specified in writing by the tenant, to any other address.
(2) The landlord or the landlord's authorized representative, upon
completion of construction of a building exceeding three stories in height and containing dwelling units, shall
disclose to the tenants initially moving into the building the availability or lack of availability of fire
83.51. Landlord's obligation to maintain
(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
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
(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.
(d) This subsection shall not apply to a mobile home owned by a
(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.
83.52. Tenant's obligation to maintain dwelling
The tenant at all times during the tenancy shall:
(1) Comply with all obligations imposed upon tenants by applicable
provisions of building, housing, and health codes.
(2) Keep that part of the premises which he or she occupies and
uses clean and sanitary.
(3) Remove from the tenant's dwelling unit all garbage in a clean
and sanitary manner.
(4) Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the
tenant clean and sanitary and in repair.
(5) Use and operate in a reasonable manner all electrical,
plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including
(6) Not destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the
premises or property therein belonging to the landlord nor permit any person to do so.
(7) Conduct himself or herself, and require other persons on the
premises with his or her consent to conduct themselves, in a manner that does not unreasonably disturb the tenant's
neighbors or constitute a breach of the peace.
83.53. Landlord's access to dwelling
(1) The tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the
landlord to enter the dwelling unit from time to time in order to inspect the premises; make necessary or agreed
repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements; supply agreed services; or exhibit the dwelling unit to
prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors.
(2) The landlord may enter the dwelling unit at any time for the
protection or preservation of the premises. The landlord may enter the dwelling unit upon reasonable notice to the
tenant and at a reasonable time for the purpose of repair of the premises. “Reasonable notice” for the purpose of
repair is notice given at least 12 hours prior to the entry, and reasonable time for the purpose of repair shall be
between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. The landlord may enter the dwelling unit when necessary for the
further purposes set forth in subsection (1) under any of the following circumstances:
(a) With the consent of the tenant;
(b) In case of emergency;
(c) When the tenant unreasonably withholds consent; or
(d) If the tenant is absent from the premises for a period of time
equal to one-half the time for periodic rental payments. If the rent is current and the tenant notifies the
landlord of an intended absence, then the landlord may enter only with the consent of the tenant or for the
protection or preservation of the premises.
(3) The landlord shall not abuse the right of access nor use it to
harass the tenant.
83.535. Flotation bedding system; restrictions on
No landlord may prohibit a tenant from using a flotation bedding
system in a dwelling unit, provided the flotation bedding system does not violate applicable building codes. The
tenant shall be required to carry in the tenant's name flotation insurance as is standard in the industry in an
amount deemed reasonable to protect the tenant and owner against personal injury and property damage to the
dwelling units. In any case, the policy shall carry a loss payable clause to the owner of the building.
83.54. Enforcement of rights and duties; civil
Any right or duty declared in this part is enforceable by civil
83.55. Right of action for damages
If either the landlord or the tenant fails to comply with the
requirements of the rental agreement or this part, the aggrieved party may recover the damages caused by the
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
(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 adequate if it is 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 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 act 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. The notice shall be adequate if it is 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 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.
(5) 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. 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 shall comply with the provisions in 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 shall 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). 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 of the noncompliance.
(6) If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall
comply with s. 83.49(3).
83.57. Termination of tenancy without specific
A tenancy without a specific duration, as defined in s. 83.46(2)
or (3), may be terminated by either party giving written notice in the manner provided in s. 83.56(4), as
(1) When the tenancy is from year to year, by giving not less than
60 days' notice prior to the end of any annual period;
(2) When the tenancy is from quarter to quarter, by giving not
less than 30 days' notice prior to the end of any quarterly period;
(3) When the tenancy is from month to month, by giving not less
than 15 days' notice prior to the end of any monthly period; and
(4) When the tenancy is from week to week, by giving not less than
7 days' notice prior to the end of any weekly period.
83.575. Termination of tenancy with specific
(1) A rental agreement with a specific duration may contain a
provision requiring the tenant to notify the landlord before vacating the premises at the end of the rental
agreement; however, a rental agreement may not require more than 60 days' notice before vacating the
(2) A rental agreement with a specific duration may provide that
if a tenant fails to give the required notice before vacating the premises at the end of the rental agreement, the
tenant may be liable for liquidated damages as specified in the rental agreement if the landlord provides written
notice to the tenant specifying the tenant's obligations under the notification provision contained in the lease
and the date the rental agreement is terminated. The landlord must provide such written notice to the tenant within
15 days before the start of the notification period contained in the lease. The written notice shall list all fees,
penalties, and other charges applicable to the tenant under this subsection.
(3) If the tenant remains on the premises with the permission of
the landlord after the rental agreement has terminated and fails to give notice required under s. 83.57(3), the
tenant is liable to the landlord for an additional 1 month's rent.
83.58. Remedies; tenant holding over
If the tenant holds over and continues in possession of the
dwelling unit or any part thereof after the expiration of the rental agreement without the permission of the
landlord, the landlord may recover possession of the dwelling unit in the manner provided for in s. 83.59 [F.S.
1973]. The landlord may also recover double the amount of rent due on the dwelling unit, or any part thereof, for
the period during which the tenant refuses to surrender possession.
83.59. Right of action for possession
(1) If the rental agreement is terminated and the tenant does not
vacate the premises, the landlord may recover possession of the dwelling unit as provided in this
(2) A landlord, the landlord's attorney, or the landlord's agent,
applying for the removal of a tenant shall file in the county court of the county where the premises are situated a
complaint describing the dwelling unit and stating the facts that authorize its recovery. A landlord's agent is not
permitted to take any action other than the initial filing of the complaint, unless the landlord's agent is an
attorney. The landlord is entitled to the summary procedure provided in s. 51.011 [F.S. 1971], and the court shall
advance the cause on the calendar.
(3) The landlord shall not recover possession of a dwelling unit
(a) In an action for possession under subsection (2) or other
civil action in which the issue of right of possession is determined;
(b) When the tenant has surrendered possession of the dwelling
unit to the landlord;
(c) When the tenant has abandoned the dwelling unit. In the
absence of actual knowledge of abandonment, it shall be presumed that the tenant has abandoned the dwelling unit if
he or she is absent from the premises for a period of time equal to one-half the time for periodic rental payments.
However, this presumption does not apply if the rent is current or the tenant has notified the landlord, in
writing, of an intended absence; or
(d) When the last remaining tenant of a dwelling unit is deceased,
personal property remains on the premises, rent is unpaid, at least 60 days have elapsed following the date of
death, and the landlord has not been notified in writing of the existence of a probate estate or of the name and
address of a personal representative. This paragraph does not apply to a dwelling unit used in connection with a
federally administered or regulated housing program, including programs under s. 202, s. 221(d)(3) and (4), s. 236,
or s. 8 of the National Housing Act, as amended. [FN1]
(4) The prevailing party is entitled to have judgment for costs
and execution therefor.
[FN1] See 12 U.S.C.A. § 1701 et seq.
83.595. Choice of remedies upon breach or early
termination by tenant
If the tenant breaches the rental agreement for the dwelling unit
and the landlord has obtained a writ of possession, or the tenant has surrendered possession of the dwelling unit
to the landlord, or the tenant has abandoned the dwelling unit, the landlord may:
(1) Treat the rental agreement as terminated and retake possession
for his or her own account, thereby terminating any further liability of the tenant;
(2) Retake possession of the dwelling unit for the account of the
tenant, holding the tenant liable for the difference between the rent stipulated to be paid under the rental
agreement and what the landlord is able to recover from a reletting. If the landlord retakes possession, the
landlord has a duty to exercise good faith in attempting to relet the premises, and any rent received by the
landlord as a result of the reletting must be deducted from the balance of rent due from the tenant. For purposes
of this subsection, the term “good faith in attempting to relet the premises” means that the landlord uses at least
the same efforts to relet the premises as were used in the initial rental or at least the same efforts as the
landlord uses in attempting to rent other similar rental units but does not require the landlord to give a
preference in renting the premises over other vacant dwelling units that the landlord owns or has the
responsibility to rent;
(3) Stand by and do nothing, holding the lessee liable for the
rent as it comes due; or
(4) Charge liquidated damages, as provided in the rental
agreement, or an early termination fee to the tenant if the landlord and tenant have agreed to liquidated damages
or an early termination fee, if the amount does not exceed 2 months' rent, and if, in the case of an early
termination fee, the tenant is required to give no more than 60 days' notice, as provided in the rental agreement,
prior to the proposed date of early termination. This remedy is available only if the tenant and the landlord, at
the time the rental agreement was made, indicated acceptance of liquidated damages or an early termination fee. The
tenant must indicate acceptance of liquidated damages or an early termination fee by signing a separate addendum to
the rental agreement containing a provision in substantially the following form:
[ ] I agree, as provided in the rental agreement, to pay $____(an
amount that does not exceed 2 months' rent) as liquidated damages or an early termination fee if I elect to
terminate the rental agreement, and the landlord waives the right to seek additional rent beyond the month in which
the landlord retakes possession.
[ ] I do not agree to liquidated damages or an early termination
fee, and I acknowledge that the landlord may seek damages as provided by law.
(a) In addition to liquidated damages or an early termination fee,
the landlord is entitled to the rent and other charges accrued through the end of the month in which the landlord
retakes possession of the dwelling unit and charges for damages to the dwelling unit.
(b) This subsection does not apply if the breach is failure to
give notice as provided in s. 83.575.
83.60. Defenses to action for rent or possession;
(1) In an action by the landlord for possession of a dwelling unit
based upon nonpayment of rent or in an action by the landlord under s. 83.55 seeking to recover unpaid rent, the
tenant may defend upon the ground of a material noncompliance with s. 83.51(1) [F.S. 1973], or may raise any other
defense, whether legal or equitable, that he or she may have, including the defense of retaliatory conduct in
accordance with s. 83.64. The defense of a material noncompliance with s. 83.51(1) [F.S. 1973] may be raised by the
tenant if 7 days have elapsed after the delivery of written notice by the tenant to the landlord, specifying the
noncompliance and indicating the intention of the tenant not to pay rent by reason thereof. Such notice by the
tenant may be given to the landlord, the landlord's representative as designated pursuant to s. 83.50(1), a
resident manager, or the person or entity who collects the rent on behalf of the landlord. A material noncompliance
with s. 83.51(1) [F.S. 1973] by the landlord is a complete defense to an action for possession based upon
nonpayment of rent, and, upon hearing, the court or the jury, as the case may be, shall determine the amount, if
any, by which the rent is to be reduced to reflect the diminution in value of the dwelling unit during the period
of noncompliance with s. 83.51(1) [F.S. 1973]. After consideration of all other relevant issues, the court shall
enter appropriate judgment.
(2) In an action by the landlord for possession of a dwelling
unit, if the tenant interposes any defense other than payment, the tenant shall pay into the registry of the court
the accrued rent as alleged in the complaint or as determined by the court and the rent which accrues during the
pendency of the proceeding, when due. The clerk shall notify the tenant of such requirement in the summons. Failure
of the tenant to pay the rent into the registry of the court or to file a motion to determine the amount of rent to
be paid into the registry within 5 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, after the date of
service of process constitutes an absolute waiver of the tenant's defenses other than payment, and the landlord is
entitled to an immediate default judgment for removal of the tenant with a writ of possession to issue without
further notice or hearing thereon. In the event a motion to determine rent is filed, documentation in support of
the allegation that the rent as alleged in the complaint is in error is required. Public housing tenants or tenants
receiving rent subsidies shall be required to deposit only that portion of the full rent for which the tenant is
responsible pursuant to federal, state, or local program in which they are participating.
83.61. Disbursement of funds in registry of court; prompt final
When the tenant has deposited funds into the registry of the court
in accordance with the provisions of s. 83.60(2) and the landlord is in actual danger of loss of the premises or
other personal hardship resulting from the loss of rental income from the premises, the landlord may apply to the
court for disbursement of all or part of the funds or for prompt final hearing. The court shall advance the cause
on the calendar. The court, after preliminary hearing, may award all or any portion of the funds on deposit to the
landlord or may proceed immediately to a final resolution of the cause.
83.62. Restoration of possession to landlord
(1) In an action for possession, after entry of judgment in favor
of the landlord, the clerk shall issue a writ to the sheriff describing the premises and commanding the sheriff to
put the landlord in possession after 24 hours' notice conspicuously posted on the premises.
(2) At the time the sheriff executes the writ of possession or at
any time thereafter, the landlord or the landlord's agent may remove any personal property found on the premises to
or near the property line. Subsequent to executing the writ of possession, the landlord may request the sheriff to
stand by to keep the peace while the landlord changes the locks and removes the personal property from the
premises. When such a request is made, the sheriff may charge a reasonable hourly rate, and the person requesting
the sheriff to stand by to keep the peace shall be responsible for paying the reasonable hourly rate set by the
sheriff. Neither the sheriff nor the landlord or the landlord's agent shall be liable to the tenant or any other
party for the loss, destruction, or damage to the property after it has been removed.
83.625. Power to award possession and enter money
In an action by the landlord for possession of a dwelling unit
based upon nonpayment of rent, if the court finds the rent is due, owing, and unpaid and by reason thereof the
landlord is entitled to possession of the premises, the court, in addition to awarding possession of the premises
to the landlord, shall direct, in an amount which is within its jurisdictional limitations, the entry of a money
judgment with costs in favor of the landlord and against the tenant for the amount of money found due, owing, and
unpaid by the tenant to the landlord. However, no money judgment shall be entered unless service of process has
been effected by personal service or, where authorized by law, by certified or registered mail, return receipt, or
in any other manner prescribed by law or the rules of the court; and no money judgment may be entered except in
compliance with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. The prevailing party in the action may also be awarded
attorney's fees and costs.
83.63. Casualty damage
If the premises are damaged or destroyed other than by the
wrongful or negligent acts of the tenant so that the enjoyment of the premises is substantially impaired, the
tenant may terminate the rental agreement and immediately vacate the premises. The tenant may vacate the part of
the premises rendered unusable by the casualty, in which case the tenant's liability for rent shall be reduced by
the fair rental value of that part of the premises damaged or destroyed. If the rental agreement is terminated, the
landlord shall comply with s. 83.49(3) [F.S. 1973].
83.64. Retaliatory conduct
(1) It is unlawful for a landlord to discriminatorily increase a
tenant's rent or decrease services to a tenant, or to bring or threaten to bring an action for possession or other
civil action, primarily because the landlord is retaliating against the tenant. In order for the tenant to raise
the defense of retaliatory conduct, the tenant must have acted in good faith. Examples of conduct for which the
landlord may not retaliate include, but are not limited to, situations where:
(a) The tenant has complained to a governmental agency charged
with responsibility for enforcement of a building, housing, or health code of a suspected violation applicable to
(b) The tenant has organized, encouraged, or participated in a
(c) The tenant has complained to the landlord pursuant to s.
(d) The tenant is a servicemember who has terminated a rental
agreement pursuant to s. 83.682.
(2) Evidence of retaliatory conduct may be raised by the tenant as
a defense in any action brought against him or her for possession.
(3) In any event, this section does not apply if the landlord
proves that the eviction is for good cause. Examples of good cause include, but are not limited to, good faith
actions for nonpayment of rent, violation of the rental agreement or of reasonable rules, or violation of the terms
of this chapter.
(4) “Discrimination” under this section means that a tenant is
being treated differently as to the rent charged, the services rendered, or the action being taken by the landlord,
which shall be a prerequisite to a finding of retaliatory conduct.
83.66. Repealed by Laws 1991, c. 91-223, § 4, eff. May 30,
83.67. Prohibited practices
(1) A landlord of any dwelling unit governed by this part shall
not cause, directly or indirectly, the termination or interruption of any utility service furnished the tenant,
including, but not limited to, water, heat, light, electricity, gas, elevator, garbage collection, or
refrigeration, whether or not the utility service is under the control of, or payment is made by, the
(2) A landlord of any dwelling unit governed by this part shall
not prevent the tenant from gaining reasonable access to the dwelling unit by any means, including, but not limited
to, changing the locks or using any bootlock or similar device.
(3) A landlord of any dwelling unit governed by this part shall
not discriminate against a servicemember in offering a dwelling unit for rent or in any of the terms of the rental
(4) A landlord shall not prohibit a tenant from displaying one
portable, removable, cloth or plastic United States flag, not larger than 4 and 1/2 feet by 6 feet, in a respectful
manner in or on the dwelling unit regardless of any provision in the rental agreement dealing with flags or
decorations. The United States flag shall be displayed in accordance with s. 83.52(6). The landlord is not liable
for damages caused by a United States flag displayed by a tenant. Any United States flag may not infringe upon the
space rented by any other tenant.
(5) A landlord of any dwelling unit governed by this part shall
not remove the outside doors, locks, roof, walls, or windows of the unit except for purposes of maintenance,
repair, or replacement; and the landlord shall not remove the tenant's personal property from the dwelling unit
unless such action is taken after surrender, abandonment, recovery of possession of the dwelling unit due to the
death of the last remaining tenant in accordance with s. 83.59(3)(d), or a lawful eviction. If provided in the
rental agreement or a written agreement separate from the rental agreement, upon surrender or abandonment by the
tenant, the landlord is not required to comply with s. 715.104 and is not liable or responsible for storage or
disposition of the tenant's personal property; if provided in the rental agreement, there must be printed or
clearly stamped on such rental agreement a legend in substantially the following form:
BY SIGNING THIS RENTAL AGREEMENT, THE TENANT AGREES THAT UPON
SURRENDER, ABANDONMENT, OR RECOVERY OF POSSESSION OF THE DWELLING UNIT DUE TO THE DEATH OF THE LAST REMAINING
TENANT, AS PROVIDED BY CHAPTER 83, FLORIDA STATUTES, THE LANDLORD SHALL NOT BE LIABLE OR RESPONSIBLE FOR STORAGE OR
DISPOSITION OF THE TENANT'S PERSONAL PROPERTY.
For the purposes of this section, abandonment shall be as set
forth in s. 83.59(3)(c).
(6) A landlord who violates any provision of this section shall be
liable to the tenant for actual and consequential damages or 3 months' rent, whichever is greater, and costs,
including attorney's fees. Subsequent or repeated violations that are not contemporaneous with the initial
violation shall be subject to separate awards of damages.
(7) A violation of this section constitutes irreparable harm for
the purposes of injunctive relief.
(8) The remedies provided by this section are not exclusive and do
not preclude the tenant from pursuing any other remedy at law or equity that the tenant may have. The remedies
provided by this section shall also apply to a servicemember who is a prospective tenant who has been discriminated
against under subsection (3).
83.68. Repealed by Laws 1974, c. 74-160, § 2, eff. Jan. 1,
83.681. Orders to enjoin violations of this part
(1) A landlord who gives notice to a tenant of the landlord's
intent to terminate the tenant's lease pursuant to s. 83.56(2)(a), due to the tenant's intentional destruction,
damage, or misuse of the landlord's property may petition the county or circuit court for an injunction prohibiting
the tenant from continuing to violate any of the provisions of that part.
(2) The court shall grant the relief requested pursuant to
subsection (1) in conformity with the principles that govern the granting of injunctive relief from threatened loss
or damage in other civil cases.
(3) Evidence of a tenant's intentional destruction, damage, or
misuse of the landlord's property in an amount greater than twice the value of money deposited with the landlord
pursuant to s. 83.49 or $300, whichever is greater, shall constitute irreparable harm for the purposes of
83.682. Termination of rental agreement by a
(1) Any servicemember may terminate his or her rental agreement by
providing the landlord with a written notice of termination to be effective on the date stated in the notice that
is at least 30 days after the landlord's receipt of the notice if any of the following criteria are met:
(a) The servicemember is required, pursuant to a permanent change
of station orders, to move 35 miles or more from the location of the rental premises;
(b) The servicemember is prematurely or involuntarily discharged
or released from active duty or state active duty;
(c) The servicemember is released from active duty or state active
duty after having leased the rental premises while on active duty or state active duty status and the rental
premises is 35 miles or more from the servicemember's home of record prior to entering active duty or state active
(d) After entering into a rental agreement, the servicemember
receives military orders requiring him or her to move into government quarters or the servicemember becomes
eligible to live in and opts to move into government quarters;
(e) The servicemember receives temporary duty orders, temporary
change of station orders, or state active duty orders to an area 35 miles or more from the location of the rental
premises, provided such orders are for a period exceeding 60 days; or
(f) The servicemember has leased the property, but prior to taking
possession of the rental premises, receives a change of orders to an area that is 35 miles or more from the
location of the rental premises.
(2) The notice to the landlord must be accompanied by either a
copy of the official military orders or a written verification signed by the servicemember's commanding
(3) In the event a servicemember dies during active duty, an adult
member of his or her immediate family may terminate the servicemember's rental agreement by providing the landlord
with a written notice of termination to be effective on the date stated in the notice that is at least 30 days
after the landlord's receipt of the notice. The notice to the landlord must be accompanied by either a copy of the
official military orders showing the servicemember was on active duty or a written verification signed by the
servicemember's commanding officer and a copy of the servicemember's death certificate.
(4) Upon termination of a rental agreement under this section, the
tenant is liable for the rent due under the rental agreement prorated to the effective date of the termination
payable at such time as would have otherwise been required by the terms of the rental agreement. The tenant is not
liable for any other rent or damages due to the early termination of the tenancy as provided for in this section.
Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, if a tenant terminates the rental agreement pursuant
to this section 14 or more days prior to occupancy, no damages or penalties of any kind will be
(5) The provisions of this section may not be waived or modified
by the agreement of the parties under any circumstances.
83.69. Renumbered as 83.759 and amended by Laws 1976, c.
76-81, § 2, eff. July 1, 1976