Rental costs in Florida and throughout much of the country have been steadily rising for several years. Needless to say, this has made renting much more challenging for many Americans. In particular, coming up with thousands of dollars in order to move into a rental property can be a substantial headwind. In addition to paying for the first month’s rent upon moving into a rental property, oftentimes the tenant is also required to pay for the last month’s rent and a security deposit up front as well. For example, let’s assume a tenant were leasing a single-family home that costs $4,000/month. They likely would need to come up with $4,000 (first month’s rent) + $4,000 (last month’s rent) + $4,000 (security deposit). Therefore, this would require a payment of $12,000 in order to move into the property. Recently, House Bill 133 was passed by the Florida Legislature and signed by Governor DeSantis to address these costs. In short, an additional monthly rental fee could be offered in lieu of a security deposit.
House Bill 133: Florida rental fee
As of July 1, 2023, landlords in Florida will be able to offer tenants the option of paying a monthly rental fee in lieu of a security deposit. Of course, landlords would not be required to offer this option. If offered by a landlord, the tenant would have the option to either pay the additional rental fee or a security deposit. This new law will take effect on July 1, 2023 and will be applicable to any rental agreements entered into or renewed on or after this date.
Supporters of this bill claim that by offering a monthly rental fee instead of an up front security deposit, renters will not have to come up with such a large sum of money in order to move into a property. On the flip side, opponents of this bill cite concerns that the rental fee cannot be capped and that renters cannot eventually recoup this money like they potentially could with a security deposit. Furthermore, the rental fee is not considered to be insurance. Therefore, tenants could still be required to pay for damages to the property upon moving out. To read the full text of the bill, click here.
This new law was passed in response to the rising cost of living in Florida, which has made it difficult for some renters to come up with the upfront cost of a security deposit. With this said, it is important for both landlords and tenants to consider the advantages and disadvantages of an additional monthly rental fee in lieu of a traditional security deposit. Since landlords are not required to offer this rental fee option, it is unclear how common this offering will be. As always, it is best to consult your real estate agent with any questions about your local market.
Are you looking to buy, sell, or rent a property in South Florida? We can help! Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! Also, don’t forget to download the free Florida Home Search app for your smartphone or tablet.