Aug 26 2013

Recent Changes to Residential Landlord-Tenant Statutes

By: E. Scott Golden

A number of changes to the residential landlord-tenant law recently became effective.  Among the principal changes are the following:

1.            The security deposit law is tightened up. If a landlord does not notify the tenant of the intent to impose a claim within 30 days of the tenant’s move, the landlord must provide a full refund.  This is the same as prior law, but clarifies it.

2.            The leases for all landlords with at least five rental units must contain specific statutory language about security deposit protection procedures.  Because this language is new, current lease forms do not contain this language!   Without the language, a landlord’s claim on a tenant’s security deposit may be viewed as invalid or may limit the landlord’s claim on the security deposit.  All leases entered into as of January 1, 2014, must contain the new deposit language.

3.            A landlord can now evict after a seven-day notice for any purpose.  The law used to require further notice in some circumstances.  Not now.  Evictions can proceed more quickly.

4.            Landlords can now accept partial rental payments in the same month that they file an eviction.  However, the partial payment must be placed in the court registry or a new 3-day notice must be served.  Until now, some courts would not let landlords evict at any time in a month after receipt of payment of partial rent, even if the payment may have constituted past-due rent from a prior month, rather than rent for the current month.

5.            If a lease requires tenants to provide up to 60 days’ notice to vacate (or, presumably, for automatic renewal), the landlord must provide the same amount of notice of non-renewal.

These are just a few of the changes.  If you need to consult with a Broward County real estate attorney regarding a landlord-tenant matter, then please contact our firm at (954) 764-6766 to schedule an appointment.

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