Many landlords are not aware of the full range of right and duties afforded to them under Florida law. It’s dangerous to get into property ownership or management without first consulting with a dedicated Florida landlord/tenant lawyer. This is because an attorney can tell you more about some of the common pitfalls associated with landlords and how to avoid facing big risks in terms of tenant problems or litigation. No matter who you are renting to, you have a responsibility as a landlord to follow the law and adhere to the strict Florida rules surrounding acceptance, management, and eviction of tenants. The stakes are even higher if you accept government subsidies.
The Section 8 Housing Program highlights the importance of legal compliance for landlords across Miami and the rest of Florida. The Section 8 program helps more than one million and a half families across the country afford their rent, however, a South Florida landlord was processing Section 8 housing vouchers fraudulently and this led to a federal investigation that was carried out over the course of two years. Miami Dade public housing will no longer do business with that landlord who owned 11 buildings. Allegations that he was violating HUD regulations were raised after the landlord allegedly received $120,000 per month in Section 8 vouchers from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Double housing payments were accepted from two separate authorities for the same unit over extended periods of time, according to the allegations.
The Miami Dade Housing Authority and the Hialeah Housing Authorities were both providing $650 and $652 vouchers respectively for the same units. Landlords must be aware of the rules to comply with state and federal regulations and need to schedule a consultation with an experienced Florida landlord tenant attorney to protect their rights.
A lawyer can help you avoid problems with tenants by ensuring the proper paperwork and compliance procedures. Furthermore, if you need to take legal action immediately, you have a lawyer at the ready who knows your business practices and who can help you put together a plan to fight back if a tenant has broken their lease. The right lawyer is a big asset in advance and in emergency situations.