Florida Lawmakers Introduce Bill Aimed at Strengthening the Rights of Tenants—Would Remove Legal Requirement to ‘Post’ Back Rent With the Court
As reported by Florida Politics, two Florida legislators have introduced concurrent bills that would strengthen the legal rights of tenants who are facing eviction for non-payment of rent. Senate Bill 1528 is sponsored by Victor Torres and its counterpart, House Bill 6069, is sponsored by Anna V. Eskamani.
If enacted, the bills would reform Florida state law to make it easier for tenants to get into court. Specifically, they would strike a statute that requires tenants to deposit their back rent with the court while party to a pending eviction case. In this article, our Miami landlord tenant dispute attorneys provide an overview of the proposed renters’ rights bill.
Proposal: Remove Requirement to Post Back Rent
Under Florida law, landlords have the right to evict a tenant for, among other reasons, the failure to pay their rent in a timely manner. In Florida, tenants who have been evicted for unpaid rent are typically required to “post” back rent into the court’s registry.
In other words, state law, as it currently exists, requires a tenant to make a deposit of the rent with the court. If a tenant fails to post the unpaid rent, they almost certainly lose their eviction case on ‘default’. This is a strict requirement. Indeed, tenants must stay current with their rent obligations while their case is pending—meaning they may need to post an additional rental payment with the court if their case has been pending for more than 30 days.
Senate Bill 1528 and House Bill 6069 would remove this provision from the Florida state statutes. Should the legislation become law, Florida tenants would no longer be required to post their back due rent with the court during an eviction case. As such, state courts would be prevented from entering a default judgment against a tenant on the grounds that no rent has been deposited.
Unclear if the Reforms Will Gain Legislative Traction
At this point, it is not clear as to whether or not the proposed reforms will gain any sort of traction in Tallahassee. Notably, neither the Senate version of the bill nor the House version of the bill currently has bipartisan support necessary to become law. Still, there is a chance that these bills, or similar reforms, could make progress in the Florida legislature. Tenants and landlords should always be aware of legal reforms. Our Miami landlord-tenant lawyers will keep a close watch on these bills and any other legal or legislative developments that could impact the rights of our clients.
Speak to Our Florida Landlord Tenant Lawyers Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida landlord-tenant attorneys provide experienced, client-focused legal representation. If you have questions about the eviction process, we can help. To set up a confidential review of your case, please call us today. We have law offices locations in West Palm Beach, Miami, and Palm Beach Gardens and we serve communities throughout the wider region.