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Florida Laws to Know Before Investing In Rental Real Estate

Landlord-Tenant Law Book on a Desk with a GavelWhen, as it happens, almost all beginning Safety Harbor investors seriously think about buying a single-family rental property, what most commonly comes to mind are the operational aspects of the investment: finding tenants, managing property maintenance, and collecting rent. What you may not also consider is that there are indeed a surprisingly wide variety of law and legal matters that relate to buying and leasing rental homes.

Even as considerable federal laws will surely apply with rental properties nationwide, a vast number of the laws that you need to really understand are those on the books of your state, county, or even city. Consequently, it is quite necessary to do your research and get a clear knowledge of these laws before you buy an investment property.

Real Estate Agency and Licensing Law

One of the critical people on your investing team is your real estate agent. The laws that govern the relationship between an agent and their clients differ from state to state. As an investor, it’s certainly very important to know what your real estate agent can and cannot legally do, from disclosures to acting in a dual agency capacity.

Furthermore, understand too that real estate agents may or may not be experts on property management laws. You should do your best to have an in-depth knowledge of the procedures required by Florida for obtaining and keeping a real estate license and seek to nail down and ensure that your agent’s license is current and in good standing.

Transfers of Ownership

Another state-specific set of laws you should clearly comprehend is those wrapped up with voluntary and involuntary ownership transfers. Voluntary transfers of ownership are those that are realized when a rental property is purchased and owned. Notwithstanding, there are certainly a few differences among state laws in respect to who will handle the transfer (your real estate agent or an attorney, for example), whether title insurance is required, who pays which closing costs, and who owns the property on the day of closing.

With that said, you should, in addition, make sure to learn your state laws about involuntary ownership transfers. These transfers generally materialize when the heirs of a deceased property owner inherit the property. Learning these laws can help you formulate a plan and make the process trouble-free whether you inherit property or leave your property to someone else.

Limitations on Use

In a majority of the states, local regulations will dictate how a property owner may use their property. Zoning ordinances, deed restrictions, historic preservation programs, and environmental review laws can all limit how a property owner may use and administer their land or structures.

As an investor, it’s crucial to understand in relation to any local ordinances that may actually interfere with your ability to renovate or lease the property you opt to buy. You should, over and above that, figure out if any occupancy laws impacted your original plans to use the property as a rental.

Fair Housing and Others

There are federal, state, and even several local laws intended to protect tenants’ rights and prevent discrimination. So while getting your federal tenants’ rights laws is rather important, you also need to carefully check whether your state has supplemented those laws with stricter versions of their own. You should secondly check zealously for any rent control policies that may apply, both current and those presumed to be enacted soon.

Getting your local Landlord/Tenant laws and habitability standards will help you always make sure you manage your investment property carefully in the correct way. Tenants’ rights laws can cover a mind-blowing category of things, from security requirements to frequency and notification about rent increases.


Grasping all of the vital laws in Florida can be a lot of work, hence, it definitely is reasonable for most rental property investors to hire Safety Harbor property management experts instead. At Real Property Management TradeWinds, we grasp well all the ins and outs of state and federal laws and can completely make sure that your investment properties are leased and managed in accordance with those laws. Call today at 727-400-4722.

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