New Florida Law Governing Rental Applications Effective July 1, 2016

Did you know that you must now respond to an active duty servicemember’s rental application within 7 days? If you fail to make a decision on their application within the 7 day time frame then you are now required to accept their completed application no matter what your screening policies are.

Landlords, property managers, Association managers, and Association board members need to be aware of recent changes to the law taking effect in Florida July 1, 2016 governing rental applications for active duty military servicemembers. The change in law provides that if the landlord or Association requires an application before residing in a rental unit, they are required to process a rental application from a military servicemember within seven days of submission. Within that seven day period, the landlord or Association must provide to the servicemember a response in writing of the approval or denial of their application and, if denied, the reason for denial.

Should a timely denial of the rental application not be provided, the landlord must lease the rental unit to the servicemember if all other terms of the application and lease are met. These provisions also apply in situations in which a servicemember seeks to rent a unit or parcel within the control of a condominium association, cooperative association, or homeowners’ association.

Make sure you tailor your application policies in such a way as to be compliant with the time-sensitive law and to avoid having to take tenants who may not have ordinarily passed your screening guidelines.

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