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What is the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act (URLTA)?


As a general rule, landlord-tenant issues are governed by state and local regulations. However, for the most part, these regulation are relatively similar from state to state. The primary reason for this is that most U.S. states have adopted all or much of the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act (URLTA). Passed in 1972, this model legislation was designed to clarify and standardize key rules and regulations that control the landlord-tenant relationship between the states.

The state of Florida has adopted much of the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act (Section 83.51). As such, Florida landlords should have a basic understanding of their rights and responsibilities under this law. In this post, our Miami landlord-tenant dispute attorneys highlight three of the most important things that Florida landlords need to know about URLTA.

The Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act: What it Means for Florida Landlords  

  1. Florida Law is Closely Patterned After the URLTA

The URLTA does not have any direct legal authority in the state of Florida. If you are a landlord in Miami or West Palm Beach, you are required to follow Florida law. However, our state’s legislature has passed the Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (FRLTA). While it does have some important distinctions from the URLTA, landlords should be aware of the fact that the FRLTA is largely patterned to conform with the uniform legislation. 

  1. Understanding Landlord Duties Under Florida Law

Florida law puts much the same legal duties on landlords as does the ULTRA. Specifically, landlords who are renting out residential property in Florida have an obligation to do all of the following: 

  • Comply with all relevant local building, housing, and safety codes;
  • Conduct basic maintenance of their premises;
  • Repair damage in a reasonable manner; and
  • Make reasonable provisions regarding certain basic livability issues, including extermination of pests, setting up a working lock & key system, ensuring the safety of common areas, establishing a system for garbage removal, and providing running water and heat during the winter.
  1. Landlords are Not Responsible for the Bad Actions of Tenants

Both the standard ULTRA and the version adopted by the state of Florida also put some key responsibilities on tenants. Notably, tenants have a basic duty to treat the property that they are renting with a basic level of care. As such, the landlord will not be held legally liable for conditions that were either created or caused by the wrongful or negligent actions or inactions of the tenant. Tenants are not only responsible for their own individual actions, but they are also responsible for their family members and any invited guests. 

Request Your Free Landlord-Tenant Dispute Consultation Today 

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we are proud to provide top quality legal services to landlords throughout South Florida. If you are a commercial landlord who has questions or concerns about the URLTA, we can help. Please call us today at 305-985-5281 (our Miami office) or at 561-291-8298 (our West Palm Beach office) to schedule a free review of your case.





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