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CS/HB 77 — Landlords and Tenants

by Judiciary Committee; and Rep. Porter (CS/CS/SB 490 by Regulated Industries Committee; Judiciary Committee; and Senator Stargel)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Judiciary Committee (JU)

The bill makes numerous changes to the Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. Specifically, the bill makes the following changes: 

  • Authorizes the use of the eviction procedures under the Florida Landlord and Tenant Act, instead of foreclosure procedures, to apply to a person who occupies a dwelling pursuant to a lease-purchase agreement in some circumstances.
  • Provides that the right of a prevailing party to attorney fees for enforcing a rental agreement may not be waived in the rental agreement.
  • Provides that the right to the statutorily required notices before a landlord or tenant may terminate a lease may not be waived in the lease.
  • Provides that attorney fees may not be awarded in a claim for personal injury damages based on a breach of duty to maintain the rental premises.
  • Revises the notice that a landlord must provide a tenant which describes how advance rent and security deposits will be held and used by the landlord or returned to the tenant.
  • Allows landlords to withdraw advance rents when the advance notice period commences without notice to tenants.
  • Creates a rebuttable presumption that a new owner of a rental property receives the security deposits paid by a tenant to the previous owner, but limit’s the presumption to 1-months rent.
  • Lessens the duty of landlords of single-family homes and duplexes to maintain screens on windows. A landlord must ensure that screens are installed in reasonable condition at the beginning of the tenancy and repaired once annually thereafter.
  • Provides that a right or duty enforced by civil action under the Florida Landlord and Tenant Act does not preclude prosecution for a criminal offense related to a lease or leased property.
  • Eliminates a landlord’s obligation to make certain disclosures regarding fire safety to tenants.
  • Provides that upon the re-occurrence within 12 months after the initial notice of tenant actions constituting noncompliance under a lease, the landlord is not required to provide an additional notice before initiating an eviction action.
  • Provides that a lease must require a landlord to give advance notice of the intent to nonrenew the lease if the lease requires a tenant to give advance notice to a landlord of the intent to vacate the premises at the end of the lease.
  • Revises procedures for restoration of possession of a rental property to a landlord to provide that Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays do not stay the applicable notice period.
  • Specifies additional grounds for which a landlord may not retaliate against a tenant.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2013.

Vote: Senate 27-10; House 92-25