LEGAL UPDATE: NEW TENANT’S BILL OF RIGHTS IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
On May 3, 2022, the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted to create a Tenant’s Bill of Rights. The ordinance is effective as of May 13, 2022. Below are key highlights about the new changes to landlord/tenant laws in Miami-Dade County. For questions, you should contact the new Office of Housing Advocacy at email@example.com and (786) 469-4545.
MIAMI REALTORS® sent a letter to the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, the Mayor, the County Attorney’s Office, and the Office of Housing Advocacy on May 13, 2022, to express our concerns that have not been resolved. See a copy of that letter HERE. We are waiting for the County to comply with all of its responsibilities under the Tenants’ Bill of Rights. As always, we will keep you informed as soon as we have more updates.
- The County’s form for the Notice of Tenant Rights is HERE in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.
- The County’s form for the Notice of Non-Renewal / Termination of Month-to-Month Tenancy is HERE.
- The County’s form for the Notice of Rent Increase is HERE.
- Slides that you can share with your offices, agents, and customers are HERE.
- The landlord tenant forms approved by the Florida Supreme Court are HERE.
- HERE is a link to the minimum housing standards from our Miami-Dade Code of Ordinances.
What does the Tenant’s Bill of Rights do?
Creates a private right of action for tenants to sue landlords
Tenants can now sue landlords for violations of the Tenants’ Bill of Rights that have occurred or are about to occur. Statute of limitations is two years. Tenants can seek their costs and attorneys’ fees, interest, damages, equitable relief, and injunctions.
“Landlord” is defined as the owner or lessor of a dwelling unit, their agents, and employees. Be mindful about how you are completing contracts with customers and tenants to mitigate the risk of liability.
Tenants can now make repairs and deduct them from the rent after:
Tenant has provided landlord with 7 days’ written notice that repairs are needed
- Landlord has failed to make repairs in accordance with Stat. § 83.51 and Chapter 17, Article II of the Code
- Tenant has obtained minimum of two estimates from licensed professionals
- Tenant has evidence of the repairs (receipts, before and after photos, etc.)
- Tenant withholds rent after sending a 7-day notice of landlord’s failure to maintain the unit in accordance with Stat. § 83.56 or 83.60
Remember: the tenant may not repair-and-deduct if tenant, tenant’s family, or someone on the premises intentionally or inadvertently caused the damage to the unit.
Creates other new rights for tenants
- Landlord must get tenants to sign and return a copy of the Tenants’ Bill of Rights using the County’s form, which you can find HERE
- If a landlord gets a notice from a government agency or condo association that a building might be unsafe, the landlord must give the tenant a copy of it within 14 days
- If there is a change in ownership, and it might lead to the termination of a month-to-month tenancy, then tenant must get 60-day notice of the change in ownership (prior to the change or with the change of ownership)
- Landlords cannot ask about or require disclosure of evictions until the prospective or current tenant has otherwise been determined qualified to rent the unit, but rental screening and searching public records on your own is still allowed
- Landlords cannot retaliate against tenant for using hotline, or any agency they were referred to, and creates a rebuttable presumption that landlord is retaliating if landlord takes an adverse action, and the tenant used the hotline in the past 60 days
- Landlords cannot retaliate, coerce, intimidate, threaten, or harass a tenant, or anyone assisting a tenant in exercising these rights
Reiterates existing tenants’ rights under state and local laws
- Landlords cannot terminate or interrupt utility services per Stat. § 83.67
- Landlord cannot collect rent from tenant or take adverse action if tenant lives in a condo, landlord is delinquent on condo assessments, and tenant pays rent to condo per Stat. § 718.116(11)
- Landlords cannot discriminate against tenants, including on the grounds in Chapter 11A of the Code
- Landlords must comply with 60-day notice requirement for rent increases more than 5%
- Landlords must comply with 60-day notice requirement to terminate month-to-month tenancies
- Landlords must comply with Section 8-5(f)(2) of the Code, which requires owners to make necessary arrangements to relocate residents within 8 hours of when building official orders units to be vacated for safety issues (that were intentional or due to neglect) and to continue those arrangements at owner’s expense until building is safe for re-occupation
Creates the Office of Housing Advocacy
The website for the Office of Housing Advocacy is HERE. The Office of Housing Advocacy is not fully staffed or operational yet, but it is supposed to be a resource for landlords and tenants, providing forms, a helpline, a website with resources, outreach, and education.
You should direct your questions about the new Tenants’ Bill of Rights and the new ordinance that requires 60-day written notices to tenants when the rent is increasing more than 5% or when terminating their month-to-month tenancies. Their contact information is: firstname.lastname@example.org and (786) 469-4545.
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