Palm Beach Relocation Guide

SPR-SUM 2016

The Palm Beach Relocation Guide is Palm Beach County's most respected relocation publication and is a MUST for anyone considering visiting, moving to, living in, or just wants to learn more about the Palm Beaches.

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80 P A L M B E A C H R E L O C A T I O N G U I D E – S P R I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 A P A R T M E N T + C O N D O L I V I N G freshwater lake in Florida and the seventh largest freshwater lake in the country. INSURANCE REGULATIONS AND TENANT RIGHTS Palm Beach County's government is rent- er-friendly. Tenants are responsible for just a few things, other than paying rent, including keeping the dwelling clean and removing trash; keeping the plumbing repaired and complying with housing and health codes; refraining from damaging or defacing the residency; and using systems such as elec- tric, air conditioning, plumbing and heating, without abusing them. Landlord responsibilities are divided into two categories. First, if the rental unit is a single-family house, duplex, triplex or mobile home, the landlord must make sure screens are in reasonable condition, and if not, repair them yearly; keep the plumbing in working condition; comply with building, housing and health codes; and keep structural components of the dwelling, such as the floor, foundation, doors, windows and walls, in good condi- tion. For triplex units, or any unit that doesn't fit into the aforementioned categories, the landlord must provide garbage removal and containers, a smoke detector, a working heater, running hot water, running water, locks and keys, and pest and animal control. If any of these things, such as working smoke detectors, are not otherwise agreed upon in writing, the landlord is responsible. However, that does not mean the landlord is responsible for water, garbage removal, water or utilities, though that is sometimes included in contracts. Florida does not have specific rent control rules, though rates can only be increased at the beginning of a new lease. For additional details, visit www.leg.state. fl.edu, explore Florida Statutes, select TITLE VI Civil Practice and Procedure, where Chapter 83 deals with landlord and tenant rules and regulations. The Florida Bar, at www.floridabar.org, offers an online pamphlet of tenant and landlord rights and duties. Utilize the search bar and search for "rights and duties of tenants and landlords." RENTERS INSURANCE Just like you wouldn't – or shouldn't – drive your car without car insurance, rental insurance is a relatively inexpensive type of insurance that will protect you against fire or theft and damage. In Florida, a landlord can legally require a renter to purchase rental insurance. Renters insurance is an additional cost, but compared to what is at stake, it is nominal, at best. For example, renters insurance typi- cally covers personal property, liability and additional living expenses. Covers the theft, loss or destruction of personal items – every- thing from that new television, cozy couch, high-tech stereo and closet full of designer clothing. If someone gets hurt on at a renters property, liability insurance will help with medical bills, damages and legal expenses. Temporary living expenses, in the case of 5 TENANT TIPS 1. Be prepared. If certain rental properties are in high demand and are selective in renting or leasing to applicants, you will gain a competitive edge by having the following information with you: a completed rental application; written references from landlords, employers, friend and/or colleagues; and a current copy of your credit report. What you should know 3. Carefully review all the impor tant conditions of the tenancy before you sign on the dotted line. Your lease or rental agreement may contain a provision that you find unacceptable, such as restrictions on guests or pets, design alterations or running a home business. 4. To avoid misunderstandings, keep copies of any correspondence with the landlord and follow up on any oral agreements with a letter, outlining your understanding, For example, if you ask your landlord to make repairs, put you request in writing and keep a copy for yourself. If he or she agrees orally, send a letter confirming this fact. 2. Purchase renters insurance to cover your valuables. Your landlord's insurance policy will not cover your losses. 5. Learn whether the building and neighborhood you are considering are safe. Get copies of any state or local laws that require safety devices such as deadbolts, and window locks; check out the property's vulnerability to intrusion by a criminal and learn whether criminal incidents have already occurred. Source: www.nolo.com

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