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.