Tenant Landlord Disputes - Frequently Asked Questions
At Flaxman Law Group, we understand that nearly one in three Florida households are occupied by renters, leading to a myriad of potential complexities in the landlord-tenant relationship. Our seasoned legal team frequently counsels tenants on their rights and available legal actions. Below are responses to the questions we encounter most often. Should you require personalized legal assistance with a dispute, Flaxman Law Group invites you to reach out for a complimentary case evaluation.
- What Exactly Constitutes a Tenant Landlord Dispute?
- What Triggers Most Tenant Landlord Disputes?
- Is Suing My Landlord a Viable Option?
- How Should I Go Forward With a Complaint?
- What Rights Do Tenants and Landlords Have in Florida?
- When Is Eviction Permissible for a Tenant?
- What Steps Should I Take if Embroiled in a Tenant Landlord Dispute?
In Florida, tenant-landlord relationships are typically governed by a lease agreement, which applies whether you're renting a house, condo, townhouse, apartment, or other residential unit. Disputes arise when there is a conflict that the lease does not clearly or adequately address, leading to potential legal action.
The main reasons for friction between tenants and landlords include:
- Accusations of property damage
- Procedures for eviction
- Breaches of the lease terms
- Injuries occurring on the property
- Delay or failure to pay rent
- Complaints about substandard property conditions
- Delays or refusal to perform necessary maintenance
- Persistent complaints from neighboring tenancies
Yes, tenants can take legal action against landlords, particularly if there's been a clear violation of lease agreements or relevant statutes. If a rental unit is demonstrably uninhabitable, with issues like mold or infestations going unaddressed, a tenant may have grounds for a claim. The same applies if injuries or financial losses have been sustained as a result of landlord negligence.
To avoid litigation, many parties attempt arbitration or mediation first, as these methods can yield resolutions that preclude the need for court involvement.
Complaints can be lodged through various avenues:
- Property Management Companies, if one administers your dwelling
- The Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Local Construction Services Division or Planning and Development Department, depending on the grievance
- Under the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA), if you're experiencing harassment or unfair debt collection practices
- Civil actions could be an option if you've endured injury or financial loss
Determining the appropriate channel for your complaint is crucial and often depends on the nature of the issue. Whether it involves discrimination, fraud, or seeking recompense for losses, consulting with an attorney—like our knowledgeable team at Flaxman Law Group—can help clarify your next steps and whether you have a viable claim.
While lease documents outline specific obligations and rights, even individuals without a lease in Florida are covered under the Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act, Part II, Chapter 83. This act grants tenants:
- Lawful use and quiet enjoyment of the property
- Prompt return of security deposits post-tenancy
- Protection against unreasonable entry by the landlord
- The ability to withhold rent in certain scenarios
- Assurance of a habitable living space
Landlords, conversely, have the right to timely rent payments and legal protection against tenants engaging in unlawful activities, causing property damage, or failing to pay rent.
Eviction is allowed if tenants inappropriately withhold rent, cause significant damage, or commit severe lease violations. However, legal eviction entails serving the tenant with proper notice, typically providing at least three days for the tenant to respond.
In a dispute scenario, it's vital to maintain detailed records of all interactions, whether through emails, notices, or other communications. If relocation becomes necessary due to uninhabitable living conditions, hold onto receipts for lodging and other incurred expenses. Document details such as the timing and content of landlord phone calls, which can corroborate negligence claims regarding repair delays.
Navigating the particulars of the Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act, other statutes, and lease intricacies can be daunting. To confidently address a rental property dispute and protect your rights, seeking advice from a qualified attorney is advisable.
Contact Flaxman Law Group today at 954-987-0099 for a no-cost, confidential consultation. With over six decades of collective experience and over $100 million recovered for our clients, our team stands ready to assist you from our offices in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood. Engaging with Flaxman Law Group entails no financial risk or obligation – take the first step in defending your tenant rights with an experienced legal professional by your side.