Learn about the rights and responsibilities for renters and landlords in Hillsborough County

Whether you’re a renter or a landlord, you have certain rights and responsibilities when entering into a lease agreement. 

When it starts

As soon as you come to an agreement with each other, your obligations start. Keep these things in mind about lease agreements:

  • Agreements can be verbal or written
  • Your agreement binds you and the other party to prearranged terms
  • Avoid confusion by having a clear, written agreement
  • Never sign a lease agreement if you don’t understand or agree to the terms

Renter rights and responsibilities

  • Before you move in, do a walk-through with your landlord
    • Check off any damage and imperfections, and take pictures and/or video
    • Put the findings in writing, and make your landlord sign the document
  • Repeat the above procedure a week before you move out
  • Put all repair requests in writing
  • Use certified return receipt mail for any and all correspondence to your landlord
  • Obtain renter’s insurance
  • Follow all applicable building, housing and health codes
  • Keep your part of the building clean and sanitary
  • Dispose of garbage properly
  • Do not damage, deface, destroy or remove any part of the premises
  • With 7-days' notice sent by Certified letter, tenants can withhold rent for violations by landlords concerning keeping the property in conformity with all building, housing and health codes
    • Contact a lawyer for advice as this note is for informational purposes only and may not completely describe requirements of Florida law
  • Return of deposit money with 15 days if no claim is made against it, but the landlord has 30 days to send you a written notice delivered by certified mail for any claims
    • After 30 days, landlords forfeit their rights to any claims on your security deposit

Landlord rights and responsibilities

  • Keep property in conformity with all building, housing and health codes
  • Maintain structural components and plumbing in good repair
  • Exterminate insects and rodents
  • Maintaining the heat, and hot and cold running water during winter
  • Collect rent
  • Collect late penalties, if written into the lease
  • Enter the premises at any time for protection or preservation concerns
  • To perform repairs, give at least 12 hours’ notice and enter between 7:30 AM and 8 PM



For code violations call:

  • Unincorporated Hillsborough County: (813) 274-6600
  • City of Tampa: (813) 274-5545
  • Plant City: (813) 659-4200, ext. 4289
  • City of Temple Terrace: (813) 506-6680

For complaints and security deposit disputes call:

  • 5+ Units / Apartments: Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation - (850) 487-1395
  • Under 5 Units: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - (800) 435-7352 or (850) 410-3800
Last Modified: 6/18/2024, 8:37:56 PM

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