Tenant Law in Florida
The relationship between a landlord and tenant in St. Lucie County, Florida can occasionally be a touchy one. Landlords and tenants are not always clear on their respective rights and obligations.
Landlords and tenants have to navigate a web of legal rights and commitments. It's essential that the parties to a landlord/tenant relationship know what obligations they have to one another.
Landlord's Rights in St. Lucie County, FL
The most important and most evident right that a landlord has is the right to timely payment of rent from the tenant. This, of course, means that the tenant has a duty to pay rent.
They additionally have a right to compensation for any damage that a tenant causes, beyond ordinary wear and tear. Landlords are free to bill the tenants for repairs to damage they caused, and deduct the cost from the security deposit.
Tenant's Rights in St. Lucie County, FL
The most basic right of a tenant is the right to a living space that's fit for human habitation. This is, after all, what they're paying the landlord to present. Landlords in St. Lucie County, Florida are under a legal duty to make sure that their apartments are habitable. There are various factors that are considered in deciding if an unit is habitable or not, but, generally, an unit will not be deemed habitable if it lacks any of the following: running water, electricity, heat, and protection from the elements (such as proper insulation, and windows that close).
Furthermore, tenants have rights to common areas that are free of physical obstructions, as well as serious health and safety hazards. Common areas are the places in apartment buildings and other residential complexes which every tenant can access, and include hallways, stairwells, and fire escapes. In St. Lucie County, Florida, these areas must be kept in a safe condition, at the landlord's expense.
A tenant also has a right, under federal law and the laws of Florida to be free from discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, or gender. Landlords can additionally not discriminate against persons with disabilities, and must make reasonable accommodations for those disabilities.
And lastly, most state laws prevent landlords from arbitrarily evicting tenants. If the lease agreement is for a set period of time, the landlord usually can't evict the tenant until the lease expires, without a good reason. Valid causes for eviction include unpaid rent, illegal activities on the property, damage to the building caused by the tenant, and excessive noise.
Can a St. Lucie County, Florida Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?
Tenants and landlords always want to avoid getting into any serious disputes - these disputes interfere with the tenant's living arrangement, and the landlord's business. In short, they help nobody. While a good St. Lucie County, Florida attorney can definately help his or her client prevail in such a dispute, they may be more essential for their ability to help prevent such disputes from escalating in the first place.