How To Report A Bad Landlord In Florida?
Landlords have a legal duty to keep the rental in a fit and habitable condition. However, not all landlords comply with or even know the law. If your landlord fails to maintain the rental property in a reasonably safe, habitable condition, you may have to report the landlord to the appropriate agency. But how do you report a bad landlord in Florida?
If you believe that your landlord is providing you with an uninhabitable rental, do not hesitate to contact a Sarasota landlord-tenant lawyer to determine how you should report your landlord to the authorities.
Why Do Tenants Report Their Landlords to Authorities?
Reasons to report a bad landlord vary from one case to another. However, some of the most common reasons tenants file complaints with the local health department include:
- Lack of electricity, heat, or running water
- Failure to remove mold
- Failure to do something about pest infestation
- Failure to eliminate lead hazards
- Failure to provide working plumbing fixtures (or repair them)
- Failure to remove garbage or waste (if removing garbage is the landlord’s responsibility)
- Failure to fix structural problems
Sending a Notice to a Bad Landlord in Florida
Before filing a complaint with the Florida Department of Health (DOH) to report a bad landlord, you must send a notice to your landlord. The notice gives your landlord a reasonable chance to remedy the issue if they were not aware of the problem.
It is vital to ensure that your notice to the landlord complies with state requirements. For this reason, you should contact a knowledgeable attorney to help you send a notice to your landlord before submitting a complaint to the DOH.
Filing a Complaint with the Florida Department of Health
If your landlord failed to take reasonable steps to fix the issue after receiving your notice, you could proceed with filing a complaint with the Florida Department of Health. Usually, the complaint should contain the following information:
- The tenant’s name
- The address of the rental property
- The name of the landlord
- The nature of the complaint
- The date when the issue began
- The date when the landlord became aware or was notified about the problem
- The landlord’s response to your request to fix the problem
What Can the Department of Health Do After Receiving Your Report?
The DOH can take the following actions after receiving your complaint:
- Inspect the rental property
- Prepare a report that summarizes the inspection
- Send a copy of the report to the landlord
- Give the landlord a reasonable amount of time to fix the problem
- Conduct another inspection to determine if the issue was fixed
- Fine the landlord if the problem has not been corrected
Reporting a Bad Landlord to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
The Department of Health is not the only agency that receives complaints about bad landlords. You could also report a bad landlord to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
If your landlord receives government benefits but fails to provide reasonably safe and decent housing, you can prepare a report to the HUD. Even if the landlord is not receiving HUD rental assistance, you can still report a bad landlord to the HUD if you have been subject to housing discrimination.
Do not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable landlord-tenant lawyer to help you report a bad landlord to the appropriate agency and seek legal remedies. Schedule a consultation with our lawyers at Moran, Sanchy & Associates by calling 941-366-1800.