The Best Way to Deal with Abandoned Mobile Homes


In the mobile home park industry, one of the most challenging aspects for owners is handling abandoned mobile homes. The presence of these unoccupied and neglected units not only mars the visual appeal and orderly environment of the park but also ushers in a multitude of legal obligations for the owners.

Chapter 715 of the Florida Statutes outlines specific procedures for managing such properties. For park owners, meticulous compliance with these statutory guidelines is not just a matter of legal formality; it is an essential practice to safeguard themselves from potential legal entanglements and to maintain the integrity and operational smoothness of their mobile home parks.

Understanding the Legal Framework for Abandoned Mobile Homes

Florida law defines an abandoned mobile home as one left unoccupied by a tenant who has no intention of returning, leaving personal property behind. In these cases, park owners must follow legal steps to manage these homes appropriately. These steps are designed to protect the rights of tenants and park owners and to ensure the orderly management of the park.

Notification Process for Abandoned Mobile Homes

The initial step in this process involves notifying the tenant or any potential owner of the abandoned property. This notification must be in writing and sent via first-class mail to the tenant’s last known address. It should inform the recipient where the property is being stored, the costs for storage, how the property can be claimed, and a deadline for claiming the property (at least 10-15 days). The notice must also detail how the property will be disposed of if it remains unclaimed.

Auctioning High-Value Properties

If unclaimed and valued over $500.00, park owners can auction these properties. This auction requires public notice in a local newspaper, including the former tenant’s name, a description of the property, and the time and place of the sale. Park owners can bid in these auctions. The proceeds, after deducting costs for storage, advertising, and sale, can be claimed by the tenant or property owner within a specified period before being deposited into the county registry.

Dealing with Low-Value Properties

For properties worth less than $500.00, park owners have more discretion. They can retain or dispose of these properties as they see fit, provided they have made reasonable efforts to return them to the tenant.  Please note that only in very rare circumstances will a Court agree that a manufactured home is worth less than $500.00.  Valuation at less than $500.00 only occurs where there has been material damage to the unit, such as a fire or significant hurricane damage.  

Exceptions to Standard Procedures

There are two exceptions under Florida law. Firstly, if the lease agreement includes a specific clause as per Florida Statute §83.67, the landlord is not required to provide notice or storage for the tenant’s personal property after surrender, abandonment, or recovery of possession. Secondly, under Florida Statute §83.62, after the sheriff executes a writ of possession, the landlord can move the tenant’s property to the property line. However, this may involve costs and challenges, particularly in multifamily or restricted communities.  Moreover, these statutes only govern Chapter 83 tenancies where the tenant does NOT own the mobile home.  In most circumstances facing our mobile home community owners, the tenant owns the mobile home and Chapter 723 applies – thereby negating the provisions of Chapter 83 cited above.  

Seeking Professional Guidance

Managing abandoned mobile homes in Florida requires a careful balance between legal obligations and practical considerations. Park owners must diligently adhere to statutory procedures to handle these properties lawfully and efficiently while minimizing liability risks. Understanding and following these laws are crucial for the successful management of a mobile home park.

For mobile home park owners grappling with the complexities of managing abandoned properties, professional legal advice is crucial. Atlas Law offers experienced counsel to ensure compliance with Florida law and to protect the interests of your mobile home park. Schedule a consultation with us to navigate these legal challenges effectively.

Why Real Estate Investors Should “Marry the House, Date the Rate”

For Florida landlords keen on expanding their real estate portfolios, timing the market can be a particular challenge. In a perfect scenario, low interest rates would simplify this decision-making process. However, we live in reality where interest rates fluctuate and make investment decisions more challenging.

This brings us to a pivotal question for investors: Is it wise to purchase rental properties when interest rates are this high? The answer largely hinges on your long-term objectives. Are you committed to being a landlord (or investor that hires a third-party management company) for the foreseeable future? Will these properties be part of your portfolio over an extended period?

Your responses to these questions will guide whether the adage “Marry the House, Date the Rate” resonates with your investment strategy.

Marry the House, Date the Rate

This phrase, a staple in real estate circles, defines a strategy of long-term commitment to a property while approaching the interest rates with the intention of refinancing once rates drop. This saying pops up much more frequently in times of heightened rates, as we currently experience due to various economic factors, including the Federal Reserve’s efforts to manage inflation.

The philosophy underpinning this saying is straightforward: acquire a property with an eye for long-term ownership, while staying open to refinancing options when rates become more advantageous. If you are buying and flipping homes in Florida then this does not apply (but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy right now as those decisions come down more to your own personal financial situation).

Applying This Principle to Investing

For those investing in Florida’s rental market, embracing this mindset is particularly prudent if long-term ownership aligns with your goals. Consider the attributes of your potential investment: Is it a sought-after property that promises consistent rental occupancy? Does it sit in a neighborhood that perennially attracts tenants?

If your investment ticks these boxes, then committing to it, despite high interest rates, can be a sound decision. The rationale is simple – the rental income should comfortably offset the interest payments. Over time, this strategy becomes increasingly beneficial as you potentially refinance at lower rates while maintaining a steady rental income.

When interest rates are high, asking prices go down. For investors, this creates opportunities to acquire properties that otherwise would be unavailable to you on the market.

Protecting Your Florida Real Estate Investments

At Atlas Law, our focus is to support Florida landlords who play a vital role in providing rental housing to our communities. Making informed investment decisions is crucial, and our role is to assist you in safeguarding these investments. For guidance in navigating and securing your real estate investments in Florida, contact Atlas Law to get started.

How Does Florida Law Define “Wear and Tear”?

The handling of security deposits in Florida is one of the most contentious issues in between landlords and tenants. It’s a topic we’ve discussed extensively recently to help clarify some key elements for Florida landlords.

It is reasonable for tenants to expect a timely return of their security deposit, but landlords also have a business to run and need to protect their assets, i.e., their rental properties. This is where security deposits come into play. Landlords are not allowed to charge for what is considered “normal wear and tear” on a property, but the definition of wear and tear is a highly debated topic in the real estate investment community.

What IS Considered Normal Wear and Tear

It’s important to understand that properties age and nothing remains new, clean, or perfect forever. Florida law accounts for this by ensuring that tenants are not held responsible for the normal aging of a property and its contents.

But, what exactly is considered “normal aging?” This includes any damage or deterioration that would be expected to happen over the course of time and not through any negligence or action by a tenant. That includes changes such as:

  • Carpet discoloration and flattening
  • Wall paint chipping or discoloring
  • Normal amounts of grease buildup on an oven
  • Moderate scratches on the floor
  • Minor dust or dirt on the property
  • Loose door and cabinet hinges
  • Moderate leaking from plumbing

This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but it should give you an idea of the types of things you can or can’t charge for. Nickel and diming a tenant may not be the best course of action, but you need to protect yourself from anything that extends beyond what most people would consider normal.

What ISN’T Considered Normal Wear and Tear

Now, there are many cases where damage goes far beyond any broad definition of normal wear and tear. Tenants need to be held financially responsible, and, in rare cases, criminally responsible.

Negligence is a key factor in determining whether damages are the tenant’s responsibility. Small bumps and bruises are expected during tenancy, but certain damages require repairs that can be charged against the security deposit. This includes:

  • Broken windows
  • Appliances damaged due to misuse
  • Discoloration of walls and carpets due to smoking in non-smoking properties
  • Large chips in wall paint or corners
  • Missing fixtures like ceiling fans or shower rods

Again, not an exhaustive list. It is important to note that any claims against a tenant’s security deposit in Florida must be itemized. This ensures that the tenant pays for actual repairs and not additional costs unrelated to the repairs.

Handle Security Deposits with Confidence

Handling security deposits appropriately is crucial to avoid costly legal disputes that put your Florida real estate investments at risk. No landlord wants to end up in court and potentially have to pay the tenant’s legal fees for attempting to deduct an excessive amount from a security deposit.

To confidently secure, handle, and deduct from a Florida tenant’s security deposit, it is best to seek legal consultation. Contact Atlas Law, your trusted landlord advocate in Florida, to ensure you are well-informed and compliant with the relevant security deposit regulations.

When Florida Landlords Are Permitted to Keep a Tenant’s Security Deposit

Security deposits are essential for landlords. They serve as a safety net, ensuring that your properties are protected in case a tenant vacates but leaves a mess, significant damage, or violates the terms of the lease.

You need to be able to cover the costly repairs or recover from damages caused by difficult tenants. We are delving into Florida’s security deposit laws to ensure that landlords are well-prepared for when they can rightfully keep a portion or all of a tenant’s security deposit.

What You Can Charge for a Security Deposit

In Florida, the law is quite landlord-friendly when it comes to setting the amount for a security deposit. Unlike some other states, Florida law does not place any limitations on the security deposit a landlord may charge tenants.

Generally, this deposit is not more than one or two months’ rent. While this offers flexibility, it’s important for landlords to remain competitive with similar properties and landlords when determining deposits to prevent potential tenants from going elsewhere.

Landlords can charge additional deposits for pets, with one notable exception: if the tenant has a genuine service animal then a pet deposit (or monthly pet fee) cannot be charged. The only exemption applies if you qualify for an exception from the Fair Housing Act.

Where Landlords Must Store the Security Deposit

Within 30 days of receiving the deposit, a landlord must decide where it will be held and inform the tenant. There are three options available:

  • An interest-bearing bank account
  • A non-interest-bearing bank account
  • A security or surety bond

Importantly, the security deposit funds must not be commingled with any other personal or business funds. If interest is earned on the deposit during the tenancy, the landlord must pay out either 5% simple interest per year or 75% of the interest generated. This payment is made at the end of the tenancy and not before.

Timelines for Returning or Deducting from a Security Deposit

Landlords are also required to return the full or deducted security deposit in a timely manner. After the tenant vacates and the lease expires, landlords have 15 days to return the deposit.

If deductions are made, the landlord must provide written notice to the tenant within 30 days. This notice should explain the deductions and associated amounts for each.

If the tenant disagrees then they have the option to file a lawsuit. It’s important to note that if this lawsuit is unsuccessful, the tenant becomes responsible for covering the landlord’s legal expenses. Conversely, if the lawsuit succeeds, the landlord must pay the tenant’s legal fees.

Allowable Security Deposit Deductions

Florida law outlines specific situations in which landlords are permitted to deduct from a tenant’s security deposit. Deductions can be made for:

  • Unpaid rent
  • The cost of repairing damage that goes beyond normal wear and tear
  • Fees that are explicitly outlined in the rental agreement (such as those for early termination or property misuse)
  • The cost of any damages caused by breaches of the lease

It’s essential for landlords to keep detailed records and documentation to substantiate any deductions made.

Florida’s security deposit laws are crucial for landlords to protect their interests while staying in compliance with the law. If you need assistance crafting lease terms that pertain to security deposits or require legal support when defending deductions from a security deposit, don’t hesitate to contact Atlas Law for a Florida landlord’s advocate.

When Can Landlords Raise Rent on Florida Tenants?

Real estate is thriving in Florida. People want to live in the Sunshine State. You know this, I know this, and your renters know this. So, it shouldn’t be a shock for tenants when rental prices go up on Florida properties.

As a landlord, you need to be able to cover the rising costs and make a living through those rental rates. However, understanding the legal framework for raising rent on tenants is crucial to maintaining a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship and avoiding legal issues.

Let’s explore the circumstances that allow you to raise rent on current tenants.

Lease Agreement Provisions

The foundation for any rent increase in Florida begins with the lease agreement itself. We encourage landlords to include clear and specific language regarding rent adjustments in the lease agreement.

A properly drafted rent increase clause in your lease provides an agreed-upon framework for raising the rate. Generally, it should be with reasonable notice and at a reasonable rate. As a reminder, even if your rental agreements state otherwise, new “Tenant Bill of Rights” measures that were attempted by Florida municipalities required at least 60 days’ notice to raise rent by more than 5%.  While these “Tenant Bill of RIghts” measures were ultimately defeated by Florida legislation, they do provide a framework for “reasonable” notices and “reasonable” rate increases that tenants will likely point to in the future. 

Lease agreements allow you to be more proactive and clear in your intention before raising rates.

Statutory Limitations

Florida law does not place restrictions on how much landlords can increase rent unless specified in the lease agreement. This allows landlords to make adjustments in line with market trends and inflation, ensuring that rental properties remain viable investments.

Property Improvements and Upgrades

Is a tenant asking you to make significant improvements to the property? These upgrades and additional maintenance will be costly, especially with inflation impacting the supply chain.

In this situation, the additional improvements likely extend beyond the terms of your lease agreement and provide you an opportunity, with notice, to make the improvements contingent upon a higher rental cost.

Obviously, if the upgrades or maintenance are required for the safety of your tenants then this is not an avenue to raise rent. However, if they are superficial or subjective changes then consider negotiating with your renter to find the right price.

Changes in Utility Costs

If utilities are included, it’s important to include language in the lease about who will be responsible for excessive utility increases. Your rental agreement should cover circumstances both where the renter is not being reasonable in the way they use utilities in the home and in circumstances where the utility companies significantly increase costs.

You have a right to pass some or all of the utility costs onto the renter with proper notice.

Work with a Florida Landlord’s Advocate

Raising rent on Florida tenants is a process that must be approached with care and adherence to the law. By understanding the specific circumstances in which rent increases are permitted, landlords can protect their investments while maintaining positive landlord-tenant relationships.

At Atlas Law, we are A Landlord’s Advocate” and remain dedicated to protecting the rights of Florida landlords to make a living on the investments they’ve made. Contact our team if you’re having an issue with a tenant after raising rent or are concerned about an upcoming rental increase notice.

What Happens if a Tenant Lies on Their Rental Application?

As a landlord or property manager, finding tenants to fill vacancies is imperative even if challenging. You want the right people to utilize your properties with respect and reliability. Problem tenants create a risk to your business and livelihood.

We recently went over the type of information you should gather to screen potential tenants and the steps you need to take to protect your business. But, what happens when you’ve put the proper parameters in place and find out later your tenant lied to you on their tenant application?

What Tenants Can Lie About

The truth is there is one key element to rental applications that tenants are legally permitted to lie about: their pets. You have every right as a Florida landlord to institute a strict no-pet policy on your properties, but barring an exception, you are not permitted to restrict tenants who have legitimately registered emotional support animals (ESA) or other service animals.

People with physical, emotional, or mental disabilities are not required to disclose the existence of these pets at the time of their application. This is to ensure that potential landlords or property managers do not discriminate against them, even if it’s done so unintentionally. Your only option in this situation is to request a formal letter or proof that the animal is legally registered or necessary (this letter does not have to disclose the specific disability as this information is protected by HIPAA).

When a Tenant Lies About Income, Employment Status, or Criminal History

Beyond this, someone lying on a rental application is exposing themselves to significant liability. Many landlords have minimum income requirements to protect their business and if someone lies about their current employment status or income then it puts future rent payments in limbo.

Lying about criminal history is an entirely other complication. You don’t want people who have a layered history of violent behavior putting other tenants and neighbors at risk. It’s likely a background check will expose these lies before a tenant ever gets in, but if by chance you don’t run a background check and the tenant is found to have lied about their history you have options.

Florida landlords are empowered to evict anyone who is found to have lied on their application. Not only this but there may be legal repercussions – especially if the tenant was required to sign a form indicating that the information was an accurate representation of their circumstances at the risk of a penalty of perjury.

Consult with a Florida Tenant-Landlord Attorney

At Atlas Law, we advocate for Florida landlords and their rights. We are equipped to assist landlords when they discover a tenant lied on their application. It’s important to consult with an attorney before evicting someone to ensure you aren’t violating any laws and have legal support for your actions.

Contact our team should you ever be put in this situation.

4 Terms You Need to Add to Your Rental Agreements Today

As a landlord, you know how important contracts are. Rental agreements provide a legally binding contract between you (or your property management company) and the tenant(s) occupying your property. A landlord without sound contracts is bound to lose out on income meant to provide for their family.

Every rental agreement should include the basics like names, lease term, rental costs, notice requirements for vacating the property, etc., but there are some lesser-used terms that more landlords should consider to protect their tenants and their income.

Working with an attorney to add the following terms to your rental contracts could be vital for the future of your investments.

  1. Subleasing Clauses

Do you want your tenants to be able to sublease if they can’t complete their rental contract? Sometimes tenants need to move before their lease is up. This often puts landlords in a tough position to decide whether or not to release a tenant from the terms they agreed to. Doing so regularly means future tenants may have the legal right to be released from a lease even if you don’t agree.

Subleasing gives tenants the opportunity to find another individual or individuals to fulfill their rental obligations and continue on as tenants. If you do not want this, then it should be specified in the contract. Florida law allows subleasing unless the landlord has strictly forbidden it.

At the very least, your lease should include a condition that requires landlord approval before subleasing the space.

  1. Guest Clauses

You agreed to let two people rent out your condo, but suddenly they’ve got two other guests staying long-term. They’re adding wear and tear to the property and creating additional liability for you as the landlord.

Guest clauses provide specific and clear restrictions and rules on guests entering and staying on your properties. It’s reasonable to limit guests to short stints (anywhere from a few days to two weeks) and require additional payment if any guests stay longer than a week or two at the property.

You also may want to consider requiring identification for guests who will be staying for more than a few days. Not only do you protect yourself from additional wear and tear and liability but you protect the guests by knowing who is permitted to come in and out of the property.

Include language that puts liability for the damage and injuries of a guest on the tenant themselves.

  1. Appliance Repair or Replacement Guarantees (or Lack Thereof)

Many tenants enter a space and believe everything within it is guaranteed to either work or be replaced. As a landlord, this means you are on the hook for repairing every single issue with an appliance that comes in.

Is this something you are able to afford and want to be doing? Some landlords include lease clauses that stipulate which specific appliances are guaranteed and which are the tenant’s responsibility should the appliance need to be replaced.

  1. Dispute Resolution

Some tenants raise legal issues with landlords. It happens, and you need protection. Arbitration clauses in rental agreements prevent those disputes from going into an ugly legal battle and instead provide a simple dispute resolution process with tenants.

If you are dealing with a difficult tenant and need legal help to manage the situation or simply need help updating your rental contracts, contact Atlas Law today for a landlord’s advocate.

What Information Can Florida Landlords Gather to Screen Potential Tenants?

Florida landlords benefit from working and owning properties in such an appealing state. People want to live in the Sunshine State, as evidenced by the recent U.S. Census report that Florida is the fastest-growing state in the nation. Generally, this means any vacancy will see droves of applicants looking for a place to live. This does not guarantee every landlord will see good applicants, however.

Landlords need to weed out the bad tenants who pose a threat to their properties. Screening applicants will help you do this, but it’s imperative that all local laws and regulations surrounding tenant screening are followed to avoid lawsuits against you and your business.

Personal information

You obviously need to know who it is that’s applying for your property. This means gathering certain personal information during the application process, including:

  • Name(s)
  • Current residential address
  • Former residential addresses if the current residence is recent or temporary
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Driver’s license number
  • Social security number

That last piece is obviously a vital piece of private information that must be protected. You and your team need to be careful about how and where sensitive information is received and stored.

Background checks

What’s important to note is that just because an applicant gives you their social security number does not mean they are consenting to a background check. Florida law requires express written consent for any background check to be conducted, so your application should include a section that explicitly asks for said consent.

A background check will be important to ensure the safety of your property, people, and community. You create financial liability if you ignore certain red flags and can also decrease your property value if crimes occur on or near your property.

Florida does not allow landlords to apply any blanket rules automatically denying tenancy due to a criminal record. All applicants must be considered even if they have a criminal record, but you are not required to approve them, either.

Financial information

A tenant who cannot pay rent does not serve you or your business. Asking for financial documents like pay stubs, tax forms, and bank statements is permitted to ensure a potential tenant can afford housing costs.

Florida law does allow landlords to have minimum income requirements for properties. However, a recent trend of implementing a “tenant bill of rights” in several municipalities is challenging the way landlords gather and use information related to income sources.

As with any personal information, these documents must be tightly protected and only used when necessary.

Animal information

This one can get tricky. You are undeniably permitted to have a strict no-pet policy for your properties. However, there are loopholes for valid reasons that landlords cannot afford to miss.

You are allowed to ask for information about any pets. However, a tenant does not have to disclose if they have a qualified service or emotional support animal. These pets can live in any property, even if the landlord has a strict no-pet policy.

If you approve a tenant and they later inform you of this, you can only ask for documentation and information about the pet to confirm qualification. You should not press for information about the reasons the animal is needed or about the severity of a tenant’s disability.

Some people have attempted to abuse emotional support animal guidelines, so it’s important to be aware of how these laws work and when you can actually kick a tenant out for attempting to subvert the process.

Have an attorney review your application process

Are you unsure whether or not your application process violates these or other guidelines/laws in Florida? An attorney can review your application process and ensure you are gathering all the appropriate information, guaranteeing you the opportunity to select the right tenants for your properties.

When you need a landlord’s advocate, look no further than Atlas Law.

New Tort Reform Law Includes Protections for Multifamily Residential Properties in Negligent Security Claims

A new law in Florida has garnered serious attention from the public as people raised concerns over House Bill 837 and what it means for bad-faith insurance actions and recovery of medical expenses/attorney fees. Another element of the bill that hasn’t quite captured the attention the way the tens of thousands of cases filed in the leadup to the signing of the bill has is the portion of the law intended to protect multifamily residential property owners and landlords.

HB 837 rewards owners and operators of multifamily residential properties in Florida who take specific security measures to protect residents. If you own and/or operate these properties you should be aware of the significant potential embedded in this bill.

Presumption Against Liability

On this subject, the law itself reads:

“[T]he owner or principal operator of a multifamily residential property which substantially implements specified security measures on that property has a presumption against liability for negligence in connection with certain criminal acts that occur on the premises.”

In relatively plain language, the above gives multifamily property owners and/or landlords additional protections when specific security measures have been implemented on the property. This means you would be given the presumption against liability for negligence should certain crimes occur on the property while those security measures are in place.

Implementing Security Measures

The law also defines the security measures that you should implement as soon as possible (if you haven’t already) in order to reap the benefits of this presumption. If you own or operate a residential property with “at least five dwelling units on a particular parcel,” the security measures you should implement according to HB 837 are:

  • A security camera system that covers each point of entrance and exit with recordings maintained for at least 30 days
  • A lighted parking lot illuminated at an intensity “of at least an average of 1.8 foot-candles per square foot at 18 inches above the surface from dusk until dawn” or controlled by a photocell or similar electronic device
  • Lighting in walkways, laundry rooms, common areas, and porches that remains on from dusk until dawn or is controlled by a photocell or similar device
  • At least a one-inch deadbolt on each unit door
  • A locking device on each window, exterior sliding doors, and any doors not used for community purposes
  • Locked gates with key or fob access along pool fences
  • A peephole or door viewer on each unit door that does not itself have a window on or next to the door

Crime Prevention Requirements

In addition, owners or operators of these units have a few crime prevention tasks to complete by January 1, 2025.

One item is to complete a crime prevention through environmental design assessment by January 1, 2025. This assessment cannot be more than three years old by that date and must be performed by a law enforcement agency or Florida Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Practitioner.

Additionally, all current employees must be trained in crime deterrence and safety training by January 1, 2025, and all future employees must be trained within 60 days of their hire date thereafter. This training must be reviewed and updated as necessary every three years.

Atlas Law Can Help You Navigate HB 837

This law can protect you and the properties you own. The requirements to actually benefit from the changes, however, will be extensive and require careful attention. The team at Atlas Law has reviewed the law and can help you get a better understanding of the law in order to implement the necessary changes to protect yourself and your property.

Should you face a negligence lawsuit after implementing these measures, contact our team right away to protect what you have worked hard to build.

Florida Municipalities Adopting “Tenant Bill of Rights” Legislation

Continued friction between landlords and their tenants has produced a number of proposed solutions. This relationship exists as a two-way street, but each side has some conflicting interests that can worsen these circumstances.

Landlords need to protect their livelihoods and ensure their properties are cared for by tenants. Tenants need a place to live that has the necessary amenities and safety and falls within their range of affordability.

In the past, public officials have provided pathways for both sides to succeed – but a recent shift in favor of tenants has produced some changes that create new challenges for landlords. Tenant (or renter) “bill of rights” legislation has become a bit of a theme for certain municipalities in Florida. So far, we have seen Hillsborough County, Orange County, Pinellas County, Miami-Dade County, and Broward County draft and adopt these bills.

Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County officials passed its “Tenant’s Bill of Rights” last year (2022). The county claims this bill would “provide additional protections to residential tenants … including protection from income discrimination.”

The terms of the bill include:

  • Landlords must provide a notice of rights to all tenants (present and future)
  • Landlords may not refuse tenancy due to a tenant’s “lawful source of income” or public assistance program status
  • Landlords may not exclude government rent subsidies in the calculation for rental eligibility
  • Landlords may not charge late fees without first providing a written notice (can be done on paper or through email)
  • Rent cannot be raised more than 5% without at least 60 days’ notice to the tenant
  • Landlords must provide at least 30 days’ notice if a lease will not be renewed

Violations of these terms would result in a $500 for each offense.

Orange County

Orange County officials passed their own tenant bill of rights that went into effect in March 2023. The terms include:

  • Landlords must provide a notice of rights to all tenants (present and future)
  • Rent cannot be raised more than 5% without at least 60 days’ notice to the tenant
  • Landlords may not refuse tenancy due to a tenant’s source of income or public assistance program status
  • All tenant fees must be disclosed upfront
  • The right to maintenance of a rental unit in line with building, housing, and health codes
  • A requirement to return a security deposit or provide written notice of a damage claim
  • Reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities

Violations of these terms would result in non-criminal civil litigation.

Pinellas County

In Pinellas County, the tenant bill of rights went into effect in August 2022. The terms are similar with a few minor changes to the notice of rent price increases. A notice of an increase above 5% must be given 60 days in advance if the rental agreement is for one year or more, 30 days in advance if the agreement is more than three months but less than a year, and 15 days in advance if the term is month-to-month.

Additional terms include:

  • Landlords must provide a notice of rights to all tenants (present and future)
  • Landlords may not refuse tenancy due to a tenant’s source of income or public assistance program status
  • Landlords may not charge late fees without first providing a written notice (can be done on paper or through email)

If there are city ordinances that conflict with the terms of this bill, the city ordinance will take precedence. Violations of these terms can result in a $500 for each offense.

Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade County’s tenant bill of rights went into effect on May 3, 2022. The terms include:

  • Landlords must provide a notice of rights to all tenants (present and future)
  • Rent cannot be raised more than 5% without at least 60 days’ notice to the tenant
  • Landlords may not refuse tenancy due to a tenant’s source of income or public assistance program status
  • Landlords cannot terminate or interrupt utility services if a tenant occupies the dwelling
  • Landlords cannot attempt to collect rent or take action against a tenant if the tenant lives in a condo and the landlord is delinquent on paying condominium association fees
  • Month-to-month rental terms cannot be terminated without 60-days’ notice
  • Rent cannot be raised more than 5% without at least 60 days’ notice to the tenant

The ordinance also establishes a helpline that will connect tenants to the proper resources or organizations should the need arise. A tenant may file civil litigation within two years of an alleged violation of these terms.

Broward County

Broward County’s tenant bill of rights went into effect on September 1, 2022, and applies to any residential leases that go into effect after that date. The terms include:

  • Landlords must provide a notice of rights to all tenants (present and future) and again prior to each rental term or once a year for month-to-month tenants
  • Landlords may not charge late fees without first providing a written notice (can be done on paper or through email)
  • Landlords may not refuse tenancy due to a tenant’s source of income or public assistance program status
  • Tenants have a right to challenge an eviction
  • Landlords must provide 60 days’ notice to terminate annual leases, 30 days’ notice to terminate when the lease is quarter to quarter, 15 days’ notice for any month-to-month lease, and 7 days’ notice for any weekly lease agreements
  • Rent cannot be raised more than 5% without at least 60 days’ notice to the tenant


As you can see, many of these terms are universal across these ordinances. It’s safe to expect that these will be enacted in more municipalities across Florida, even in cases where many of these terms were already required by law.

Keeping track of these new and changing standards for landlords will be a challenge. At Atlas Law, we proudly stand up and advocate for Florida landlords. If you need help navigating these changes or end up facing legal action because of them, contact our team and we will defend your rights.