Renters and Landlords Rights & Responsibilities

Whether you’re a renter or a landlord, you have certain rights and responsibilities when entering into a lease agreement. 

When it starts

As soon as you come to an agreement with each other, your obligations start. Keep these things in mind about lease agreements:

  • Agreements can be verbal or written.
  • Your agreement binds you and the other party to prearranged terms.
  • Avoid confusion by having a clear, written agreement.
  • Never sign a lease agreement if you don’t understand or agree to the terms.

Renter rights and responsibilities

  • Before you move in, do a walk-through with your landlord
    • Check off any damage and imperfections, and take pictures and/or video
    • Put the findings in writing, and make your landlord sign the document
  • Repeat the above procedure a week before you move out
  • Put all repair requests in writing
  • Use certified return receipt mail for any and all correspondence to your landlord
  • Obtain renter’s insurance
  • Follow all applicable building, housing and health codes
  • Keep your part of the building clean and sanitary
  • Dispose of garbage properly
  • Do not damage, deface, destroy or remove any part of the premise
  • Withhold rent for violation of landlord obligations concerning keeping the property in conformity with all building, housing and health codes
    • Contact a lawyer for advice
  • Return of deposit money with 15 days if no claim is made against it, but the landlord has 30 days to send you a written notice delivered by certified mail for any claims
    • After 30 days, landlords forfeit their rights to any claims on your security deposit

Landlord rights and responsibilities

  • Keep property in conformity with all building, housing and health codes
  • Maintain structural components and plumbing in good repair
  • Exterminate insects and rodents
  • Maintaining the heat, and hot and cold running water during winter
  • Collect rent
  • Collect late penalties, if written into the lease
  • Enter the premises at any time for protection or preservation concerns
  • To perform repairs, give at least 12 hours’ notice and enter between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Resources

Contact

For code violations call:

  • Unincorporated Hillsborough County: (813) 274-6600
  • City of Tampa: (813) 274-5545
  • Plant City: (813) 659-4200, ext. 4141
  • City of Temple Terrace: (813) 506-6680

For complaints and security deposit disputes call:

  • Consumer Protection Services at (813) 635-8316.