May 19, 2019
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       Florida Senate - 2010                                     SB 786
       
       
       
       By Senator Rich
       
       
       
       
       34-00523A-10                                           2010786__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to residential tenancies; creating s.
    3         83.683, F.S.; defining terms; prohibiting a landlord
    4         from refusing to enter into a rental agreement with a
    5         person for a dwelling unit because the person is a
    6         victim of domestic violence, dating violence, repeat
    7         violence, or sexual violence; prohibiting a landlord
    8         from refusing to enter into a rental agreement with a
    9         victim of domestic violence, dating violence, repeat
   10         violence, or sexual violence because the person
   11         previously terminated a rental agreement or had a
   12         rental agreement terminated as the result of domestic
   13         violence, dating violence, repeat violence, or sexual
   14         violence; providing procedures and authorizing
   15         liquidated damages for early termination of a lease by
   16         a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, repeat
   17         violence, or sexual violence; requiring a landlord to
   18         change or authorize a tenant to change the locks on
   19         the tenant’s dwelling unit under certain
   20         circumstances; preserving a landlord’s right to
   21         exclude certain persons from the landlord’s property
   22         or to terminate or refuse to enter into a rental
   23         agreement with a person based on the person’s
   24         creditworthiness or criminal history; providing a
   25         landlord with immunity for certain actions;
   26         prohibiting waiver of certain statutory rights;
   27         providing for application; providing an effective
   28         date.
   29  
   30  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   31  
   32         Section 1. Section 83.683, Florida Statutes, is created to
   33  read:
   34         83.683Protection of victims of domestic violence, dating
   35  violence, repeat violence, or sexual violence.—
   36         (1)DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   37         (a)“Dating violence” has the same meaning as provided in
   38  s. 784.046.
   39         (b)“Domestic violence” has the same meaning as provided in
   40  s. 741.28.
   41         (c)“Repeat violence” has the same meaning as provided in
   42  s. 784.046.
   43         (d)“Sexual violence” has the same meaning as provided in
   44  s. 784.046.
   45         (2)VICTIM PROTECTION DURING APPLICATION FOR A RENTAL
   46  HOUSING UNIT AND DURING TENANCY.—A landlord may not refuse to
   47  enter into a rental agreement for a dwelling unit solely because
   48  the applicant or a household member of the applicant is a victim
   49  of domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, or
   50  sexual violence, if the applicant provides the landlord at the
   51  time of application for rental housing with:
   52         (a)A written confirmation from a domestic violence center
   53  certified under chapter 39, or a rape crisis center as defined
   54  in s. 794.055, issued within 30 days before the date of the
   55  application for rental housing which states that the applicant
   56  is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, repeat
   57  violence, or sexual violence;
   58         (b)A certified copy of a police report documenting an
   59  incident of domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence,
   60  or sexual violence against the applicant or a household member
   61  of the applicant;
   62         (c)A certified copy of an order of no contact or a
   63  criminal conviction entered by a court in a criminal case in
   64  which the defendant was charged with a crime relating to
   65  domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, or sexual
   66  violence against the applicant or a household member of the
   67  applicant; or
   68         (d)A certified copy of a final injunction for protection
   69  against domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, or
   70  sexual violence issued to the applicant or a household member of
   71  the applicant.
   72         (3)ADDITIONAL VICTIM PROTECTIONS.—
   73         (a)A landlord may not refuse to enter into a rental
   74  agreement for a dwelling unit solely because the applicant
   75  previously terminated a rental agreement due to domestic
   76  violence, dating violence, repeat violence, or sexual violence,
   77  as provided in subsection (4), if the applicant provides the
   78  landlord with a copy of the court document that was used as the
   79  basis for the previous lease termination.
   80         (b)A landlord may not refuse to enter into a rental
   81  agreement solely because a landlord terminated a previous rental
   82  agreement of the applicant for breaching a provision of the
   83  rental agreement, if such breach of the agreement occurred
   84  because the applicant or a household member of the applicant was
   85  a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence,
   86  or sexual violence as evidenced by reports of a law enforcement
   87  agency or criminal or civil court records.
   88         (c)A landlord may not terminate a rental agreement solely
   89  because a tenant or a household member of the tenant breached a
   90  provision of the rental agreement, if such breach of the
   91  agreement occurred because the tenant or a household member of
   92  the tenant was a victim of domestic violence, dating violence,
   93  repeat violence, or sexual violence as evidenced by reports of a
   94  law enforcement agency or criminal or civil court records.
   95         (4)PROCEDURE FOR EARLY TERMINATION OF A RENTAL AGREEMENT.
   96  A tenant who is or who has a household member who is a victim of
   97  domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, or sexual
   98  violence may terminate his or her rental agreement for a
   99  dwelling unit before the date specified in the agreement by
  100  providing the landlord with:
  101         (a)A written notice of termination to be effective on the
  102  date stated in the notice, which must be at least 30 days after
  103  the date the landlord receives the notice; and
  104         (b)1.A certified copy of a final injunction for protection
  105  against domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, or
  106  sexual violence issued to the tenant or a household member of
  107  the tenant; or
  108         2.A certified copy of an order of no contact or a criminal
  109  conviction entered by a court in a criminal case in which the
  110  defendant was charged with a crime relating to domestic
  111  violence, dating violence, repeat violence, or sexual violence
  112  against the tenant or a household member of the tenant.
  113         (5)DAMAGES FOR EARLY TERMINATION OF A RENTAL AGREEMENT.
  114         (a)A tenant who terminates his or her rental agreement
  115  pursuant to subsection (4) is liable to the landlord for:
  116         1.Liquidated damages in an amount equal to 1 month’s rent
  117  or that portion of 1 month’s rent which the tenant would be
  118  liable for if the tenant is a cotenant under the rental
  119  agreement;
  120         2.Unpaid rent and other accrued charges through the end of
  121  the month in which the landlord takes possession of the dwelling
  122  unit;
  123         3.Any rental agreement concessions provided by the
  124  landlord; and
  125         4.Charges for damages to the dwelling unit.
  126         (b)A cotenant or cotenants to a rental agreement remain
  127  bound by the agreement after a tenant terminates his or her
  128  rental agreement pursuant to subsection (4). The landlord may
  129  terminate the rental agreement for any cotenant who is the
  130  perpetrator of domestic violence, dating violence, repeat
  131  violence, or sexual violence and named in the final injunction
  132  for protection, no contact order, or criminal conviction,
  133  notwithstanding any provision of this part to the contrary
  134  requiring certain grounds for termination of a tenancy or for
  135  eviction.
  136         (6)ACCESS TO A DWELLING UNIT.—
  137         (a)A landlord shall change the locks on all exterior doors
  138  of a dwelling unit within 72 hours after a request by a tenant,
  139  or permit the tenant to install new locks, if:
  140         1.The tenant provides the landlord with a copy of a court
  141  order that grants the tenant possession of the dwelling unit to
  142  the exclusion of one or more cotenants, prohibits one or more
  143  cotenants from contact with the tenant or a household member of
  144  the tenant, or prohibits a person who is not a cotenant from
  145  contact with the tenant or a household member of the tenant;
  146         2.The tenant agrees to bear the expense of changing the
  147  locks; and
  148         3.Changing the locks will not permanently damage the
  149  dwelling unit.
  150         (b)A landlord who permits a tenant to replace a lock may
  151  require the tenant to provide the landlord with a copy of the
  152  key to the lock.
  153         (7)LANDLORD RIGHTS PRESERVED.—This section does not
  154  restrict the right of a landlord to:
  155         (a)Exclude without cause from the landlord’s property or a
  156  tenant’s dwelling unit a person or persons identified as
  157  perpetrators of domestic violence, dating violence, repeat
  158  violence, or sexual violence in a police report, no contact
  159  order, or a final injunction for protection against domestic
  160  violence, dating violence, repeat violence, or sexual violence;
  161         (b)Terminate a rental agreement for a tenant’s failure to
  162  comply with this chapter; or
  163         (c)Refuse to enter into a rental agreement based on a
  164  person’s creditworthiness or criminal history.
  165         (8)LIMITATION OF LANDLORD’S LIABILITY.—A landlord is not
  166  liable for damages for injuries arising from the landlord’s
  167  attempt to comply with this section in good faith.
  168         (9)WAIVER OF RIGHTS NOT PERMITTED.—The protections for
  169  victims provided by this section may not be waived or modified
  170  by agreement.
  171         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010, and
  172  applies to rental agreements executed or renewed on or after
  173  that date.

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