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If you pay rent to live in a home or apartment, you are a tenant under Florida law.

As a tenant, you have certain rights and responsibilities associated with your occupancy. Understanding your rights can protect you from unsafe living conditions and expensive legal troubles.

Your responsibilities as a tenant

In addition to making payments on time, you have other duties that you are responsible for. Among these include:

  • Maintaining a clean dwelling
  • Using facilities and appliances in a reasonable manner
  • Not damaging any part of the premise
  • Avoiding unreasonable disturbances to your neighbors

Your exact obligations may vary according to your lease, so you should have a thorough understanding of the provisions outlined in your agreement.

Your landlord’s obligations to you

Your landlord’s responsibilities will also depend on the lease agreement, but his or her duties will typically include:

  • Complying with health, building and housing codes
  • Maintaining plumbing
  • Keeping the dwelling in reasonably good repair, including ensuring roof, windows, floors and walls are properly maintained

If you live in an apartment, your landlord will have additional obligations related to common areas, pest control and locks.

How to handle non-compliance

When your landlord does not meet his or her obligations to you, you should supply written notification and allow seven days for compliance. If your landlord still does not comply, you may be able to take further action including terminating the rental agreement or withholding rent.

The proper legal counsel can help you understand your options and ensure you follow Florida law.