Operating a rental property in South Florida involves following certain laws, rules, and regulations on federal, state, and local levels. This can easily overwhelm any landlord, which is why it’s a common practice to entrust it to property management companies. In this article, we’ll tackle the reasons why having these professionals by your side can alleviate the burden, discussing some laws they can ensure full compliance with.
Advantages of working with property management near you
Even if you have full confidence in your ability to learn and abide by the law, it would still be wise to hire a property management firm near you. Here’s what you can expect when you entrust compliance to the pros:
They know the law better than anyone
Real estate professionals are typically well-versed in state-level laws, but local laws can be more complex and less widely known. Local property managers have years of experience in their markets and know city-specific laws like the back of their hands. Furthermore, they stay up-to-date through ongoing education, ensuring that your property management practices are always in compliance with the latest requirements.
They’re ready to adapt to regulatory changes
The moment there are modifications to the law, property managers are ready to incorporate those changes into your current procedures. This means you don’t have to bear the responsibility of staying informed of ever-evolving rules yourself.
They maintain accurate documentation to reduce risk
Property management companies near you maintain an array of records as part of their risk management strategy. For example, when carrying out maintenance, they prepare reports to outline what work was completed. This reduces the risk of false allegations regarding your negligence. Additionally, they record all money-related transactions (e.g., rent, security deposits, etc.), to not only abide by the law, but also to protect you against disputes.
Florida rental laws you need to know
Property management companies near you are poised to ensure full compliance with laws such as these:
According to the Fair Housing Act (FHA), you must avoid any practices that may be considered discriminatory. At its core, all potential tenants should have a fair chance to rent with you and, as such, should be subject to the same screening requirements. For instance, if you choose to conduct a credit check with one applicant, it’s imperative to do the same for all other applicants.
Note that compliance with the FHA is more than just maintaining non-discriminatory screening processes. It also involves steering clear of discriminatory terms in your marketing materials, as you may inadvertently favor a particular type of tenant. For example, describing a home as “perfect for families” could imply a preference for families over other individuals.
The law states that rental property owners may only evict a tenant if the latter fails to follow the terms of their lease agreement. Some examples of this are when a tenant refuses to pay their rent, even after you’ve given them a grace period. You can also initiate the eviction process if you can prove that a tenant intentionally damaged the property.
It’s crucial to note that there are certain exceptions to this rule. Tenants have the right to terminate their rental contract if they’re called to serve in the military.
The eviction process can be tricky to navigate. Having a property manager with a deep understanding of the legal grounds for eviction can help you ensure full compliance with the law.
By default, all rental property owners must carry out routine maintenance. While your property doesn’t need to be spotless (although that would be great, too), your home should be habitable at the minimum. This entails maintaining a pest-free environment, ensuring the functionality of HVACs, and eliminating any health risks (such as mold, which can cause respiratory conditions). Furthermore, you must promptly tackle maintenance and repair concerns, particularly when the matter poses a safety risk to your tenants.
Failure to maintain a habitable home may cause your tenant to withhold a portion of their rent, or in more severe cases, terminate the lease without incurring penalties.
When you collaborate with a Florida property management firm, they’ll stay on top of all maintenance tasks. Your property will always be well-cared-for, which in turn increases tenant satisfaction.
Your tenants have the right to peaceful living, even if the property isn’t technically theirs. According to the law, you are not allowed to enter your rental property once it’s occupied. In situations where entry is required to carry out repairs, showcasing the property to replacement tenants, etc., you should inform your tenant ahead of time and secure their permission. Most cities have specific rules on the notice period, setting a minimum of 12 hours prior to the desired time of entry.
The only exception is in case of emergencies. If you believe your tenant’s safety may be at risk (such as during natural disasters), you have the legal right to enter the property.
Most property management companies use innovative systems to inform renters of necessary repairs, showings, etc., which may necessitate entry into the home. This not only assures clear communication between both parties, but also protects you from potential disputes.
Tenant data protection
As a landlord, you likely handle a wealth of sensitive information daily, spanning from tenant files to records of financial transactions. Protecting this data is of paramount importance, as a breach can put you at risk of lawsuits and tarnish your reputation in the rental industry.
Property managers follow strict protocols when collecting data from applicants, tenants, and contractors. They make sure their systems are secure and diligently stay up-to-date with ever-evolving data privacy laws.
Rent increase restrictions
While Florida doesn’t put a cap on rent increases, this doesn’t give you the authority to raise it whenever you want. Generally, it’s recommended to wait for the current rental contract to end before bumping up the rental rate. There are no explicit laws requiring you to inform tenants of the rent increase, but it would be in good faith to do so. Openly communicating your intent to raise the rent provides your tenant with ample time to explore other options, in case they can’t afford the new rate.
End your search for “property management near me”
On a never-ending Google search for “property management near me”? Put an end to your search with Luxury Property Care. We have real estate experts across South Florida, who are ready to ensure your practices remain fully compliant with the law. Beyond that, we offer tailored property management services, designed to position you for long-term success.