Florida Senate - 2022 CS for CS for SB 884 By the Committees on Community Affairs; and Judiciary; and Senator Boyd 578-02646-22 2022884c2 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to fees in lieu of security deposits; 3 creating s. 83.491, F.S.; authorizing a landlord to 4 offer a tenant the option to pay a fee in lieu of a 5 security deposit; requiring the landlord to provide 6 certain written notice to the tenant; requiring a 7 written agreement signed by the landlord, or the 8 landlord’s agent, and the tenant if the tenant decides 9 to pay a fee in lieu of the security deposit; 10 requiring a specified disclosure in the written 11 agreement; providing options for paying the fee; 12 specifying that certain fees, insurance products, and 13 surety bonds are not security deposits; specifying 14 that landlords have exclusive discretion as to whether 15 to offer tenants the option to pay a fee in lieu of a 16 security deposit; requiring that landlords who offer a 17 tenant the fee option offer such option to all new 18 tenants renting a dwelling unit on the same premises, 19 except in certain circumstances; providing an 20 exception; providing construction; providing 21 applicability; providing an effective date. 22 23 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 24 25 Section 1. Section 83.491, Florida Statutes, is created to 26 read: 27 83.491 Fee in lieu of security deposit.— 28 (1) If a rental agreement requires a security deposit, a 29 landlord may offer a tenant the option to pay a fee in lieu of 30 the security deposit. 31 (2) If a landlord offers a tenant the option to pay a fee 32 in lieu of a security deposit, the landlord must notify the 33 tenant in writing of all of the following: 34 (a) That the tenant has the option to pay a security 35 deposit instead of the fee. 36 (b) That the tenant may, at any time, terminate the 37 agreement to pay the fee in lieu of the security deposit and 38 instead pay a security deposit in the amount that is otherwise 39 offered to new tenants for a substantially similar dwelling unit 40 on the date that the tenant terminates the agreement. 41 (c) Whether any additional charges apply for the options 42 provided in paragraphs (a) and (b). 43 (3)(a) If a tenant decides to pay a fee in lieu of a 44 security deposit, a written agreement to collect the fee must be 45 signed by the landlord, or the landlord’s agent, and the tenant. 46 The written agreement must, at a minimum, specify the amount of 47 the fee and how and when the fee is to be collected. 48 (b) The written agreement specified under paragraph (a) 49 must also include a disclosure in substantially the following 50 form: 51 52 FEE IN LIEU OF SECURITY DEPOSIT 53 THIS AGREEMENT HAS BEEN ENTERED INTO VOLUNTARILY BY BOTH PARTIES 54 AND THE TENANT AGREES TO PAY THE LANDLORD A FEE IN LIEU OF A 55 SECURITY DEPOSIT AS AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 83.491, FLORIDA 56 STATUTES. THIS FEE IS NOT A SECURITY DEPOSIT AND PAYMENT OF THE 57 FEE DOES NOT ABSOLVE THE TENANT OF ANY OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE 58 RENTAL AGREEMENT, INCLUDING THE OBLIGATION TO PAY RENT AS IT 59 BECOMES DUE AND ANY COSTS AND DAMAGES BEYOND NORMAL WEAR AND 60 TEAR THAT THE TENANT OR HIS OR HER GUESTS MAY CAUSE. THE TENANT 61 MAY TERMINATE THIS AGREEMENT AT ANY TIME AND STOP PAYING THE FEE 62 AND INSTEAD PAY A SECURITY DEPOSIT AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 63 83.491, FLORIDA STATUTES. 64 65 THIS DISCLOSURE IS BASIC. PLEASE REFER TO PART II OF CHAPTER 83, 66 FLORIDA STATUTES, TO DETERMINE YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND 67 OBLIGATIONS. 68 69 (4) A fee in lieu of a security deposit may be: 70 (a) A recurring monthly fee, payable on the same date that 71 the rent payment is due under the rental agreement; or 72 (b) Payable upon a schedule that the landlord and tenant 73 choose and as specified in the written agreement. 74 (5) A fee collected under this section, an insurance 75 product, or a surety bond accepted by a landlord in lieu of a 76 security deposit is not a security deposit as defined in s. 77 83.43(12). 78 (6) A landlord has exclusive discretion as to whether to 79 offer tenants the option to pay a fee in lieu of a security 80 deposit and is not required to offer such fee option to tenants. 81 However, if a landlord offers a tenant an option to pay a fee in 82 lieu of a security deposit, the landlord must also offer all new 83 tenants renting a dwelling unit on the same premises the option 84 to pay a fee in lieu of a security deposit, unless the landlord 85 chooses to prospectively terminate the fee option for all new 86 leases. 87 (7) This section does not prohibit a tenant from being 88 offered or sold an insurance product or a surety bond to present 89 to the landlord in lieu of a security deposit if the offer or 90 sale of such insurance product or surety bond complies with the 91 laws of this state. Acceptance by a landlord of an insurance 92 product or a surety bond that is purchased or procured by a 93 tenant, a landlord, or an agent of the landlord may not be 94 considered an offer on the part of the landlord to allow a 95 tenant to pay a fee in lieu of a security deposit for the 96 purposes of subsection (6). 97 (8) This section applies to rental agreements entered into 98 or renewed on or after July 1, 2022. 99 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.