House Bill 77 was signed into Law June 7, 2013. The 20 page bill extensively amended the residential landlord tenant act.
The changes are as follows:
§83.42 (2) 83.42 Exclusions from application of part.
“Occupancy under a contract of sale of a dwelling unit:”
A purchaser is not exempt from the landlord tenant act unless he as paid at least 12 months’ rent or paid at least 1 month’s rent and a deposit of at least 5 percent of the purchase price of the property.
§83.48 Attorney Fees:
The right to attorney fees may not be waived in a lease agreement. However, attorney fees may not be awarded in a claim for personal injury damages based on a breach of duty under s. 83.51.
§83.49 Security Deposits:
The landlord must give the tenant a written notice within 30 day stating: the name and address of the depository or state that the landlord has posted a surety bond instead; whether the tenant will receive interest; and the following disclosure:
YOUR LEASE REQUIRES PAYMENT OF CERTAIN DEPOSITS. THE LANDLORD MAY TRANSFER ADVANCE RENTS TO THE LANDLORD’S ACCOUNT AS THEY ARE DUE AND WITHOUT NOTICE. WHEN YOU MOVE OUT, YOU MUST GIVE THE LANDLORD YOUR NEW ADDRESS SO THAT THE LANDLORD CAN SEND YOU NOTICES REGARDING YOUR DEPOSIT. THE LANDLORD MUST MAIL YOU NOTICE, WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER YOU MOVE OUT, OF THE LANDLORD’S INTENT TO IMPOSE A CLAIM AGAINST THE DEPOSIT. IF YOU DO NOT REPLY TO THE LANDLORD STATING YOUR OBJECTION TO THE CLAIM WITHIN 15 DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE LANDLORD’S NOTICE, THE LANDLORD WILL COLLECT THE CLAIM AND MUST MAIL YOU THE REMAINING DEPOSIT, IF ANY.
IF THE LANDLORD FAILS TO TIMELY MAIL YOU NOTICE, THE LANDLORD MUST RETURN THE DEPOSIT BUT MAY LATER FILE A LAWSUIT AGAINST YOU FOR DAMAGES. IF YOU FAIL TO TIMELY OBJECT TO A CLAIM, THE LANDLORD MAY COLLECT FROM THE DEPOSIT, BUT YOU MAY LATER FILE A LAWSUIT CLAIMING A REFUND.
YOU SHOULD ATTEMPT TO INFORMALLY RESOLVE ANY DISPUTE BEFORE FILING A LAWSUIT. GENERALLY, THE PARTY IN WHOSE FAVOR A JUDGMENT IS RENDERED WILL BE AWARDED COSTS AND ATTORNEY FEES PAYABLE BY THE LOSING PARTY.
For leases entered into up until December 31, 2013 the landlord may give the notice according to the current landlord tenant statute. The disclosure herein is only required under leases entered into after January 1, 2014.
The failure of tenant to object to a landlord’s claim against security within 15 days no longer bars the tenant for suing to recover their security deposit.
§83.51 Landlord’s obligation to maintain premises.
Screens: the landlord shall ensure screens are installed in a reasonable condition at the commencement of the tenancy, but shall only have to fix them once a year thereafter.
§83.56. Seven Day Notice of non-compliance. The legislature clarified that once a 7 day notice of lease violation has been issued, the landlord does not have to issue another notice if the tenant commits another similar violation within a year in order to evict.
§83.56(5)(a) Waiver: The landlord may now accept partial rent after posting 3 day notice if : 1) the landlord provides a dated receipt stating the balance due before filing an eviction, and(2) puts the partial payment into the court registry upon filing the eviction.
§83.56(5)(c)Section 8: Waiver now occurs if landlord does not evict within 45 days of actual knowledge of tenant’s noncompliance not the date of the noncompliance.
§83.575 Notice of non-renewal of lease with fixed term. A lease requirement of notice of intent not to renew, will apply to both the landlord and the tenant.
§83.60 Defenses to action for rent or possession.
83.60 (1)(a) NEW TERM: “The landlord must be given an opportunity to cure a deficiency in a notice or in the pleadings before dismissal of an action.”
The legislature has made it clear that the courts are not to dismiss evictions for defective 3 day notices. They further clarified that the tenant is required to post the rent into the court registry even if the 3 day notice is defective.
§ 83.64 Retaliatory Conduct: the legislature added two more categories that the landlord shall not retaliate against:
(e) Tenant has paid the rent to the association pursuant to their demand.
(f) Tenant has exercised rights under local, state, or federal fair housing laws.