can landlords charge tenants a cleaning fee in Florida?

Can a Landlord Charge a Cleaning Fee in Florida?

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Last Updated on December 8, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen

In Florida, landlords are allowed to charge a cleaning fee to tenants, but only under certain circumstances. The purpose of a cleaning fee is to compensate the landlord for the time and expense of cleaning a rental unit after a tenant moves out.

However, landlords cannot charge a cleaning fee simply because a tenant is moving out. If the rental unit is left in a clean and undamaged condition, the landlord must return the tenant’s security deposit in full.

Florida law requires landlords to provide tenants with a written notice of their intention to impose a cleaning fee. This notice must be provided within 30 days after the tenant has vacated the rental unit.

The notice must specify the amount of the cleaning fee and the reason for its imposition. If the tenant disputes the cleaning fee, the landlord must provide an itemized list of the cleaning expenses incurred.

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Understanding Cleaning Fees in Florida Rental Agreements

In Florida, landlords are allowed to charge a cleaning fee to tenants, but there are specific rules and limitations that must be followed. Understanding these rules can help both landlords and tenants avoid any legal disputes.

Legal Grounds for Charging Cleaning Fees

Florida law allows landlords to charge a reasonable cleaning fee to tenants, but it must be stated in the lease agreement. The fee can be either refundable or non-refundable, but it must be reasonable and cannot exceed the maximum amount allowed by law.

Normal Wear and Tear vs. Damage

Landlords are not allowed to charge tenants for normal wear and tear, which is defined as the expected deterioration of a property over time. However, landlords can charge for damages caused by tenants that go beyond normal wear and tear.

It is important for landlords to document any damages and provide an itemized list of deductions from the security deposit.

Security Deposit and Cleaning Fee Deductions

Landlords in Florida are allowed to deduct cleaning fees from the security deposit, but only for reasonable cleaning expenses. The landlord must provide a written notice of the deductions and the remaining balance of the security deposit within 30 days of the tenant moving out.

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Tenant Rights and Landlord Obligations

Notice and Documentation Requirements

Florida law requires landlords to provide tenants with written notice of any cleaning fees before they move in. The notice should clearly state the amount of the fee, the purpose of the fee, and the conditions under which it will be refunded.

Landlords must also document the condition of the rental unit before and after the tenant moves in, and provide the tenant with a copy of the documentation.

Dispute Resolution and Legal Remedies

If a tenant believes that a landlord has charged an unfair or illegal cleaning fee, the tenant can file a complaint with the county court or small claims court. The tenant must provide written notice to the landlord before filing a legal action.

If the court finds that the landlord has charged an illegal fee, the landlord may be required to pay damages to the tenant and may face penalties under the Fair Housing Act.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the maximum amount a landlord can charge for cleaning fees in Florida?

Florida law doesn’t set a specific limit on the amount landlords can charge for cleaning fees. However, the fee must be reasonable and based on the actual cost of cleaning the rental unit.

Is it legal for a landlord in Florida to deduct a cleaning fee from the security deposit?

Yes, landlords in Florida can deduct a cleaning fee from the security deposit if the rental agreement allows it. However, the deduction must be reasonable and based on the actual cost of cleaning the rental unit.

Are Florida tenants legally obligated to pay for cleaning services upon moving out?

Yes, Florida tenants are responsible for leaving the rental unit clean and in good condition upon moving out. Failure to do so can result in the landlord deducting a cleaning fee from the security deposit.

What are the limitations on non-refundable cleaning fees imposed by Florida law?

Florida law doesn’t impose any specific limitations on non-refundable cleaning fees. However, the fee must be reasonable and based on the actual cost of cleaning the rental unit.

In Florida, what constitutes normal wear and tear versus chargeable damage for cleaning?

Normal wear and tear is the expected deterioration of the rental unit over time due to normal use. Chargeable damage is damage caused by the tenant’s negligence or misuse. Landlords can only charge tenants for damage beyond normal wear and tear.

What actions can a tenant take if they believe a landlord is overcharging for cleaning in Florida?

Tenants can dispute the cleaning fee with the landlord and try to negotiate a lower fee. If the dispute cannot be resolved, tenants can file a complaint with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or seek legal action.

Disclosure: The content herein isn’t a substitute for advice from a professional attorney. It’s only meant to serve educational purposes. If you have a specific question, kindly seek expert attorney services.

Sources: FL Statutes Chapter 83 Part II, Warranty of Habitability in Florida

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