Renter Rights - How Do They Differ Between California and Florida?  
 
 

Renter Rights - How Do They Differ Between California and Florida?

It's important to make sure that you know your rights as a renter, no matter what state you live in. However, if you're moving, the rights that applied in one state might not be the same in another. Generally, you can be sure that it's illegal for your landlord to discriminate against you in housing, or to maintain unlivable premises, but the details of these laws vary greatly from one locality to another. Fortunately, it's fairly easy to find out what kind of renters' rights your state, county, and town legislate. Here are a few of the rules in California, and in Florida.

In Florida, a landlord is specifically forbidden from using the lease to free himself from consequences of his own negligence. He may also not charge an excessive penalty if late is rent, or shorten the required time for notices of termination beyond 60 days for a year lease. Terms for notice of termination may be shorter if the lease is for a shorter period of time. The landlord is obligated to provide a dwelling in which the roof is sound, the walls are weather tight and in good repair, the stairs are safe for normal use, and all windows and doors are weather tight, water tight, rodent proof, and soundly working. Florida also requires the adequate plumbing, including hot water to sinks, tubs, and showers, be provided. Each habitable room must have at least two outlets, and each room must have a wall or ceiling light fixture or outlet controlled by a wall switch for lamps. All of the electrical systems in a rental unit offered in Florida must be in good working order.

In Florida, you are allowed to terminate your lease if a landlord's failure to repair damage has made the unit unlivable. However, you must give your landlord written notice of the need for repairs and intention to terminate, then allow one full week for the repairs to be made. If you can still live in the unit, then you must make a written notice stating the repairs to be made and an intention to withhold portions of the rent until they are made, and again wait seven days. This must be done before rent is due.

In California, tenants moving out of a dwelling are required to give the same amount of notice as there is time between rent payments – a month's notice if you pay every month, for instance. The tenant is held responsible for reasonable care of the rental unit and all damage caused by themselves, pets or guests, but the landlord must pay for other damage. Your landlord cannot require you to pay rent in case unless you have had a bounced check within the past three months. But you should still look into getting some renters insurance quotes so that you are properly covered.

When repairs must be made by the landlord in California, and the landlord is being unresponsive to those repairs, a tenant may hire those repairs done, and deduct up to a month's rent. However, this may not be done more than twice per year, the repairs must cost no more than one month's rent, and the damage to be repair must be serious and a danger to the tenant's health and safety. This damage must also not have been caused by the tenant or anyone he or she is responsible for, including family, guests, and pets.





 

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