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.
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.