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Guide to Laws and Regulations to Know as a Tampa Landlord

Guide to Laws and Regulations to Know as a Tampa LandlordRental laws are constantly changing, and when you own a Tampa investment property, you have to do one of two things. Either you have to stay up to date on all the relevant laws and their changes on your own, or you have to work with a professional Tampa property management company so you have access to professionals who know the laws and can keep you in compliance.

Legal mistakes are expensive. If you don’t return a security deposit properly, you’ll be penalized financially. If you cannot dig yourself out a fair housing claim, you’ll face a $16,000 penalty for your first offense.

Today, we’re sharing some general information on the types of laws and regulations you need to know as a Tampa landlord.

Federal Laws: Fair Housing, Fair Credit, and Americans with Disabilities

Federal laws including the Fair Housing Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. You need to understand your role in all of them when you’re advertising a rental property, leasing a home, or responding to the needs and requests of your residents.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination when you’re renting out a home. You cannot make a decision based on a person’s color, national origin, religion, race, sex, familial status, or disability. It’s easy to say you don’t discriminate, but simply stating that a home is great for older adults or close to churches is going to get you in trouble.

The Americans with Disabilities Act goes a bit further than the fair housing laws and requires landlords to make accommodations for tenants or applicants who have physical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities. This might be a wheelchair ramp or a reserved parking spot or a service animal.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act dictates how you must handle and keep the personal and financial information of your applicants and your tenants. There are also requirements that impact how you issue denials when someone isn’t qualified for your property.

Security Deposit Laws in Tampa

There are specific regulations for where and how you keep a security deposit. There’s no limit on how much you collect, but you must hold the deposit in a separate account in a Florida bank. You also have 15 days after a tenant moves out to return the deposit. If you’re withholding any or all of the deposit, you need to provide a written statement with an itemized list of deductions. If you don’t return the deposit on time or you illegally withhold funds from it, your tenants can sue you in small claims court.

Tenant’s Right to Quiet Enjoyment

Tenant’s Right to Quiet EnjoymentLandlords need a specific reason to enter the property. Usually, you can only go inside with the tenant’s consent or if there’s an emergency. Make sure you don’t show up and ask to take a look around without providing notice or obtaining consent.

There’s a lot more you need to know about the laws and requirements involved in renting out a Tampa property. If you’d like to learn more or you want information about Tampa property management, we can help you. Please contact us at Real Property Management Instant Equity.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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