Legal Memorandum: Landlord's Duties to Tenants in FL

Issue: Under Florida law, do residential landlords owe an ongoing duty to tenants to repair defective conditions, including roofs and ceilings, on notice from the tenant?

Area of Law: Real Estate Law
Keywords: Landlord's duty; Repair dangerous defective conditions; Tenant
Jurisdiction: Florida
Cited Cases: 401 So. 2d 1328; 401 So.2d 1328; 25 So.2d 205
Cited Statutes: Fla. Stat. § 83.51
Date: 06/01/2015

In Mansur v. Eubanks, 401 So. 2d 1328 (Fla. 1981) TA s "Mansur v. Eubanks, 401 So. 2d 1328 (Fla. 1981)" , the Florida Supreme Court acknowledged that given the “complexities of housing construction” the landlord is in a better position than the tenant to guard against dangerous conditions on the property.  Id. at 1330 TA s "Mansur v. Eubanks, 401 So. 2d 1328 (Fla. 1981)" .  With this underlying policy in mind, it overruled the prior rule of caveat lessee under which landlord’s duty to ensure the safety of the premises terminated once the tenant was in control.  Id. at 1329 TA s "Mansur v. Eubanks, 401 So. 2d 1328 (Fla. 1981)" .

The Mansur court set forth the new ongoing standard of care for residential landlords as follows:

After the tenant takes possession, the landlord has a continuing duty to exercise reasonable care to repair dangerous defective conditions upon notice of their existence by the tenant, unless waived by the tenant. This latter duty corresponds to the statutory warranty of habitability noted by Judge Ervin in his concurring opinion below. § 83.51(1), Fla.Stat. (1977).


Id. at 1330 (emphasis added).


The Mansur decision serves as the basis for Florida Standard Jury Instruction (Civil) 401.20(d)(2), TA l "Florida Standard Jury Instruction (Civil) 401.20(d)(2)" s "Florida Standard Jury Instruction (Civil) 401.20(d)(2)" c 3  the comment to which acknowledges that the residential landlord’s ongoing […]

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