A Florida rental application is a form that landlords or property management companies use to find the right tenant for a rental property. The application helps potential tenants present their personal and financial information in an organized way for the landlord's approval. Landlords sometimes ask for a non-refundable fee and typically respond to the application within one or two days. If the tenant is approved, they will be given a lease agreement to sign.
RentSpree makes this process fast, easy and safe for landlords and renters. You'll find everything from an online rental application and tenant screening to renters insurance and insurance verification.
In the state of Florida, landlords must adhere to specific laws when screening potential tenants and processing rental applications. These laws help protect the rights of both landlords and tenants, ensuring that the rental process is conducted fairly and transparently. Informational only; not legal advice.
- Fair Housing Act: The Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants based on their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. This means that landlords cannot use any of these factors as a basis for rejecting an application. 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619.
- Credit history: Landlords are allowed to check a tenant's credit history as part of the screening process, but they must have the tenant's written consent to do so. Additionally, landlords cannot automatically reject an applicant based solely on their credit score. Instead, they must consider other factors such as income and rental history. Florida Statutes § 83.56(3).
- Criminal history: Landlords can also check a tenant's criminal history, but they cannot discriminate against applicants based on arrests or charges that did not result in a conviction. Additionally, landlords cannot automatically reject applicants with a criminal history. Instead, they must consider the nature of the offense and how recently it occurred. Florida Statutes § 83.56(2).
- Security deposits: In Florida, landlords are allowed to require a security deposit from tenants. The maximum amount that can be charged is equal to one month's rent. Landlords must return the security deposit within 15 days of the tenant moving out, minus any deductions for damages or unpaid rent. Florida Statutes § 83.49.
- Application fees: Landlords are allowed to charge an application fee to cover the costs of screening potential tenants. However, the fee cannot be excessive, and landlords must provide an itemized list of the expenses covered by the fee. Florida Statutes § 83.49(3).
- Property disclosures: Landlords must disclose certain information to tenants, such as the condition of the property and any known defects. Failure to do so can result in legal action by the tenant. Florida Statutes § 83.50.
This is not an exhaustive list of laws and regulations that govern tenant screening and rental applications in Florida. Consult with a licensed attorney to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.