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Navigating Landlord Tenant Disputes in Florida: 5 Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

As a landlord, you’ve probably heard horror stories about tenants who refuse to pay rent, damage your property, or violate the terms of the lease agreement. These disputes can quickly escalate into costly lawsuits, leaving both parties frustrated and stressed. As a landlord, it’s crucial to be aware of the common disputes that can arise with tenants and take steps to prevent them from occurring. 

This post will address the most common landlord/tenant disputes and provide tips on how landlords can avoid unnecessary lawsuits. By understanding your rights and responsibilities as a landlord, you can maintain a positive relationship with your tenants and avoid legal battles that can be both costly and time-consuming.

Security Deposits

One of the most common disputes between landlords and tenants in Florida is related to security deposits. In Florida, landlords have specific responsibilities when returning a tenant’s security deposit. The landlord is required to return the security deposit within 15 days after the termination of the lease.

If the landlord plans to withhold part or all of the deposit to cover unpaid rent or damages to the property, they must provide a written notice within 30 days to the tenant explaining why the deposit is being withheld. If the landlord fails to return the deposit or provide a written notice, the tenant may be entitled to damages up to three times the amount of the deposit, plus attorney fees. Therefore, landlords must understand their responsibilities and follow the proper procedures to avoid unnecessary legal disputes.

Rent Increases

In Florida, landlords are legally allowed to raise the rent after the lease term has expired. However, there are rules that landlords must follow when increasing the rent. The landlord must give the tenant at least reasonable notice before the rent increase takes effect. Additionally, if the lease agreement specifies a set rent increase amount or a percentage, the landlord must follow that agreement.

It’s important to note that landlords cannot increase the rent during the lease term unless the lease agreement allows for it. If the tenant feels the rent increase is unreasonable, they may negotiate with the landlord or terminate the lease agreement. Therefore, landlords should ensure they follow the legal procedures when raising the rent to avoid any disputes with their tenants.

Maintenance and Repairs

Florida landlords are legally obligated to keep the rental property in good condition and promptly make necessary repairs. The landlord must ensure the property is habitable, which means it must have functioning plumbing, hot water, heating, and air conditioning. If a tenant requests repairs, the landlord must respond within a reasonable time frame and make the repairs promptly.

If the landlord fails to respond or make necessary repairs, the tenant may be entitled to withhold rent or terminate the lease agreement. Also, landlords cannot retaliate against tenants who complain about repairs or file a complaint with the local housing authority. 

Therefore, landlords must ensure that the rental property is in good condition and respond promptly to maintenance requests to maintain a positive relationship with their tenants and avoid legal disputes.

Lease Violations

Florida landlords should know their obligations under the lease agreement and what constitutes lease violations by tenants. Common lease violations by tenants include subleasing without permission, bringing in unauthorized pets, or violating noise or occupancy rules. 

Landlords should also ensure they follow the lease agreement and legal obligations, such as providing proper notice before entering the rental property. If a tenant violates the lease, the landlord should take appropriate action, such as issuing a warning or sending a notice to cure or quit, depending on the severity of the violation. If the tenant continues to violate the lease agreement, the landlord may pursue legal action to evict the tenant. It’s important to have a clear and detailed lease agreement that outlines the expectations of both parties and to communicate effectively with tenants to avoid misunderstandings and disputes.


The eviction process in Florida starts with providing the tenant with a notice to vacate, which can be either a 3-day notice for non-payment of rent or a 7-day notice for lease violations. If the tenant fails to vacate the property, the landlord must file a complaint with the local court to obtain a final judgment for possession. If the court grants the final judgment, the landlord can request a writ of possession, which allows the sheriff to remove the tenant and their belongings from the property. 

Landlords must follow the proper legal procedures when evicting a tenant to avoid legal disputes or penalties. Additionally, landlords must not use self-help measures, such as changing the locks or shutting off utilities, to evict a tenant, as this is illegal in Florida. Finally, eviction can be time-consuming and costly, so it’s best to try to resolve disputes with tenants before eviction.


These are just a few common disputes that can arise between landlords and tenants in Florida. It’s always advisable for both parties to seek legal advice to resolve any disputes. Should you need assistance, we may be reached at