Signing a lease binds both the landlord and the tenant to a variety of responsibilities. As the owner of the property, under Florida Law the landlord is responsible for the maintenance associated with pest control—as is the case with termites. Because the process often involves fumigation, it is pertinent that the landlord have the tenants evacuate the building prior to the act taking place. However, what is the appropriate timeline of notification for a landlord to inform his or her tenants?
According to Section 83.51 of the Florida Statutes:
“(2)(a) Unless otherwise agreed in writing, in addition to the requirements of subsection (1), the landlord of a dwelling unit other than a single-family home or duplex shall, at all times during the tenancy, make reasonable provisions for:
1. The extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants, wood-destroying organisms, and bedbugs. When vacation of the premises is required for such extermination, the landlord is not liable for damages but shall abate the rent. The tenant must temporarily vacate the premises for a period of time not to exceed 4 days, on 7 days’ written notice, if necessary, for extermination pursuant to this subparagraph.”
In lay man’s terms, the landlord is to inform his or her tenants of their expected evacuation via written notice at least 7 days in advance. In addition, this evacuation cannot last longer than 4 days, and the tenants will not be charged the cost of rent for that time. Furthermore, the landlord is not responsible for any personal items that are damaged in the process—so tenants should be sure to remove any items of value prior to the fumigation.
Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida real estate attorney can help your wade through this difficult process and determine a positive solution. Contact him at 813-549-0096.
The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. The author takes full responsibility for the content. Like all blog posts, this is offered for general information purposes and does not constitute legal advice.