There is a lot to like about Florida’s landlord-tenant law, but one area of concern is its use of a provision that could make it difficult for small landlords to retain tenants.
Under the new law, small landlords with 10 or fewer units must get a landlord’s approval before renting a property to tenants over age 16.
The law, which took effect in October, also imposes strict requirements for who can be listed as the landlord.
Florida is the last state in the country to use the “lexington” landlord law, though the language is common across the country, and the term has been used by other states.
While it was not included in the bill to which the House is voting on this week, the bill contains language to ensure that only small businesses that do not rent to more than 10 percent of their total tenants are subject to the new rule.
As a result, landlords who rent to families over the age of 16 are unlikely to have the new approval requirement, according to a new study from the National Employment Law Project, which represents landlords.
“The bill creates a new legal barrier for landlords to rent to small businesses, and creates significant financial and operational burdens for landlords and tenants,” said Julie Reinstein, the program’s associate legal director.
Landlords also face new burdens because the law doesn’t allow them to be listed with their names on the lease, said the study, which also included a comparison of the law in neighboring states and in some cases, from other states with similar laws.
“If the state requires the landlords to list their name on the agreement, that creates a financial burden on the landlord that they don’t need,” said the report, authored by David M. Schmitt, a law professor at the University of South Florida.
The report was released Wednesday.
House Democrats are seeking to overturn the law, and on Thursday, a Republican state senator, Rep. Mark D. Wilson, said he was prepared to introduce a bill to do so.
But the bill has been controversial among some Republicans, including former Florida Gov.
Jeb Bush, who in an interview on Fox News Sunday said the law was “a bad idea.”
“It’s not clear how it can be justified,” Bush said.
“It’s one of the more discriminatory laws I’ve seen in this country.
I would like to see the Senate take a look at this.”
In the past, state legislatures have introduced similar laws that have been struck down by federal courts.
In Florida, for instance, the law is currently under review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.
In Florida, landlords must pay rent for their units and must pay a 10 percent fee to the state for any repairs.
Renters must pay the fee in addition to any damages they may incur, but they can sue the state if they believe their landlord is illegally charging them more.