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Renting and leasing in Florida

While there are federal laws in place to govern certain aspects of renting and leasing (such as the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination), laws concerning leases and rentals are governed by states. This means that each state has its own laws and rules regarding leases, such as whether or not there are limits on the amount a landowner can demand in security deposits. Florida law, for instance, places no such restrictions, meaning that Florida landowners can charge as much as they want for security deposits.

There are many other aspects of Florida law that can affect a rental or leasing agreement. For instance, if the term of a lease expires, you and your landlord can consent to continue the agreement for an additional term, but be sure to get it in writing. You may pay rent for an additional month, but without the landlord's written consent to extend the agreement, your landlord may cancel the arrangement at any time, even in the middle of the month after you have already paid, and you will have very little legal recourse.

It is worth mentioning that even though there is a federal Fair Housing Act, the state of Florida has its own Fair Housing Act as well. This Act prohibits discrimination based on many factors, including religion, gender, race and more. Such discrimination as refusing to rent a house based on race or lying about the availability of a house due to religious differences is illegal.

If you are a tenant or landlord with questions about residential real estate in Florida, it is highly recommended that you speak with an attorney regarding the laws of the state. This is especially true if you feel that you have faced discrimination or if you believe the other party in the agreement is breaking the law or breaching the contract.

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