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Tampa Landlords Should Be Wary of City Council’s New Fining Initiative

tampa landlord and tenant law tampa real esate lawyerLast week, Tampa’s City Council took action that all Tampa landlords should be aware of. In response to numerous complaints regarding college house parties, Tampa’s City Council asked the City Attorney to investigate an ordinance that would allow the city to fine landlords when tenants have house parties that get out of control.

The ordinance is primarily in response to complaints from those in the north Hyde Park and west Riverfront neighborhoods that share housing with University of Tampa students. Over the last few years, several rental homes have been the scene of large house parties for college students. The new ordinance would seek to hold the landlord accountable for the tenant’s actions, including wild parties resulting in noise complaints. Fines start at $1,000 per incident and go up for subsequent incidents. Undeniably, the proposed ordinance put landlords in a tough spot when they cannot control the actions of their tenants.

So what can Tampa landlords do to protect themselves?

Prepare your lease with appropriate lease language. The best way a landlord can protect itself is to ensure that the fine issue is addressed within the lease itself. Provisions that directly apply to eviction rights and indemnity clauses can help ensure that the landlord can mitigate their liability in such circumstances.

Hold larger security deposits that can be used towards fines. Landlords can also choose to hold larger security deposits that would be expressly used towards paying any fines incurred for tenant parties.

However, a landlord chooses to mitigate their liability, they need to be aware of the changing law and its consequences. If you are a Tampa landlord and are in need of legal advice or assistance with a lease, call the experienced Tampa real estate attorneys at DeWitt Law Firm today.

Further reading: Navigating Florida’s Landlord Tenant Statute – Chapter 83