In Florida, all leases for residential tenancy (with a few exceptions) include an implied warranty of habitability. This quite simply means that the landlord is responsible for keeping the property in a safe and liveable condition while it is being rented out. This warranty is implied, meaning it does not have to be expressly written in the lease or rental agreement to be valid. There is some controversy about the implied warranty of habitability, including its potential negative effects and what exactly is protected. In this post, we’ll discuss what is protected by this warranty in Florida, what is not protected, and how Douglas Realty Property Management ensures that every rental property we manage is in its best possible condition at all times.
What Does the Implied Warranty of Habitability Cover?
Tenants have a right to live in peace, including peace from harassment and excessive noise. This includes not allowing the landlord to just enter the property any time they please or to excessively contact the tenant. Landlords must also address noise issues reported by their tenants, especially if the noise issues are breaking local or state laws. If the cause of the noise is another of the landlord’s tenants, this could be a potential lease violation for that other tenant.
The basic utilities for survival, including electricity, running water, and a heat source, must be provided by the landlord of the rental property. Of course, the landlord doesn’t have to pay for these utilities, but they must make sure that the tenant has access to them. Not having a connection to these basic utilities is a code violation that could carry hefty fines.
The rental property must be clean and sanitary upon being rented to a tenant. There cannot be any pest, animal, or mold problems in the rental unit and if any arise, the landlord is responsible for correcting them. The property must also be clean and free of trash or waste from previous tenants or lack of use.
Another important component of the implied warranty of habitability is that the landlord is required to keep the rental property structurally safe. This means the building itself must be up to code and not have any structural issues that would cause imminent danger. All structural issues must be corrected immediately, and the tenant may be due compensation for having to find other accommodations while the work is completed.
Additional safety items the landlord is responsible for under the implied warranty of habitability are the presence of functional door locks and smoke detectors.
While a landlord is free to restrict pets from being housed on their property, they may not restrict the presence of registered service animals. Emotional support animals are not covered under this law.
Routine Maintenance and Repairs
The landlord is also responsible for any and all routine maintenance tasks or repairs that are needed on the property. This includes having HVAC systems cleaned and inspected, roof inspections and repairs, plumbing and electrical repairs due to age or normal wear and tear, driveway/asphalt maintenance, and more.
What Does the Implied Warranty of Habitability Exclude?
Excluded Property Types
While most single and multifamily dwellings are covered under Florida’s implied warranty of habitability, some property types are excluded. These include:
- RVs and campers
- Hotels and motels
- Fraternity or sorority houses
While some basic utilities are required with the implied warranty of habitability, many amenities are excluded or not mentioned in the law, including:
- Appliances (i.e. stoves/ranges, washers, dryers, dishwashers, etc.)
- Trash service or receptacles
- Gas lines
- Telephone wires
- Safety of storage areas (i.e. basements or garages)
- Fire exits
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Radon detectors
- Camera/Security systems
- Barns or outbuildings
The Best Property Managers in Southwest Florida
Do you want a property management company that always meets and exceeds the basic requirements of the implied warranty of habitability to rent out your rental properties? You’re in luck! Here at Douglas Realty Property Management in southwest Florida, we set the bar high when it comes to renting out the safest, cleanest, and most habitable rental units in the area. Call us at (239) 542-6906 or contact us online to find out why so many rental property owners trust us to protect their assets while earning a truly passive income.