Want to Rent Your Home? Make Sure You Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities First | Rubén J. Padrón, PA

Want to Rent Your Home? Make Sure You Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities First

December 14, 2018

Are you interested in renting out your home? Before you take the plunge, it’s important to make sure you understand all the rights that Florida law grants to you as a landlord.

Here’s some information from a real estate attorney in Miami, FL to help you make a more informed decision about whether renting out your property is the right choice for you.

Rental agreements

Rental agreements in Florida can be either written or oral. From a landlord’s perspective, it’s crucial you get your agreement in writing to avoid any misunderstandings and potential lawsuits. A written agreement will leave much less room for misunderstanding. Have your potential tenant sign the agreement to indicate their understanding and agreement to the contract.

Work with an attorney to get a better understanding of what your rights are with regard to evicting problem tenants or tenants who break their rental agreements in certain ways. Different types of lease breaches may call for different types of actions—eviction may not be the best strategy to take, at least not immediately. Nonpayment of rent and other failures to meet obligations are complicated issues, and a qualified attorney can help you determine what steps are best to take in your given situation.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities you have as a landlord vary based on the type of property you have. In any type of property, the landlord is responsible for complying with all housing, health and building codes. If there are no such codes applicable, the landlord is required to maintain the home in reasonably good condition, including plumbing, roof, windows, screens, porches, floors, steps, foundations, exterior walls and any other structural components.

With apartments, the landlord must also take reasonable steps to ensure the renter is provided with locks and keys, and that all common areas are clean and safe. The landlord must also make reasonable provisions for extermination of any pests in the premises (such as bed bugs, rodents and other insects), garbage disposal facilities and outside receptacles, functional facilities for running water and hot water, and heat during the winter months.

None of this means the landlord is required to pay for utilities, water, fuel or garbage removal. You can choose to do so, however. It’s a good idea to include in writing in your rental agreement what types of amenities you provide as the landlord to make sure there is a clear delineation of responsibilities and no potential for misunderstanding.

Access to premises

Tenants are not allowed to unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter the unit to make inspections from time to time. Landlords are allowed to enter at any time for protecting or preserving the premises, and can enter the unit upon reasonable notice (and at a reasonable time) to make repairs. The general standard for “reasonable notice” is 12 hours before entry.

For more information about your rights as a landlord, contact the office of Rubén J. Padrón, PA to speak with an experienced real estate attorney in Miami, FL.

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