What are the Florida Mold Laws?
Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, it’s important to have an environment that is safe and free from any potentially harmful contaminants. However, Florida mold laws and requirements from landlord and tenants are known to be a bit unclear.
What Responsibilities do Landlords have when it comes to mold?
There are currently no federal or state laws that cover a landlord’s specific responsibility when it comes to mold, mold prevention and remediation. However, in a scenario where a habitability issue is found, tenants could take their claims to court to prove their landlord practiced negligence resulting in hefty penalties. Although Florida law doesn’t require a landlord to disclose mold contamination to a potential or current tenant, it does require a landlord to provide livable conditions through a law called “implied warranty of habitability.” Whether mentioned in a contract or lease, landlords are required to abide by the law in good faith and disclose of any potential issues leading to an uninhabitable environment, which includes mold.
What if a Landlord Fails or Refuses to Fix a Mold Issue?
Tenants in a Florida rental are covered by law through two options: repair and deduct and rent withholding. Repair and deduct allows tenants the option to fix the repairs themselves and deduct the associated costs from their monthly rent. Whereas rent withholding allows the tenant to stop rent payment in the presence of unhabitable living conditions until the issue is fixed. In some cases, the lease in place can be broken if the landlord refuses to fix a mold issue.
What about a Landlords’ Rights?
Tenants aren’t the only party with rights when it comes to mold. The landlord has authority to deduct funds from the security deposit due to mold related issues created by the tenant’s negligence. The tenant must be notified within 30 days of their move-out date and if they object to the deduction, either party can take the issue to court.
Mold is a concern that should be taken seriously to protect individuals residing in a property as well as the property itself. Make sure you know your rights and requirements both as a tenant and a landlord so you can effectively manage any potential mold related issues.
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