August is National Back to School Month, and college students will be renting properties near campus, many as first-time renters. It's important to know that renters have certain rights and responsibilities.
Before signing a lease, it's helpful to keep these tips in mind:
Leases are not required but most landlords will provide one, as it outlines the expectations of the tenant.
Read the entire document and don't sign if you don't understand something. Be sure to keep a copy of your lease.
Walk through the premises to identify any problems that should be fixed before you rent.
Florida law requires landlords to comply with building, housing and health codes; keep the roof and other areas in good repair; and keep plumbing in good working order.
The landlord can enter at reasonable times with proper notice to inspect, make necessary or agreed repairs, or supply agreed upon services.
When you decide to move, give the required notice as stated in your rental agreement and be sure to settle all accounts. Terminate utility service the day you leave and notify the landlord, post office and others of your address change.
One of the most important responsibilities as a tenant is to leave the premises in a clean condition for the next occupant. Note any damages in writing and reach a final agreement.
If your landlord fails to do what the law or rental agreement requires, you may be eligible to terminate your agreement without penalty. You must first notify the landlord of the issue in writing. The landlord has seven days to correct the issue.
Unless the issue involves failure to pay rent, a landlord must go through the same process when the tenants fail to meet their obligations.
For a free copy of the full text version of the Landlord/Tenant Law, Chapter 83, Part II, Florida Statute, or give us a call at