Residential & Commercial Landlord – Tenant Statutes Are Different

January 1, 2011


Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes covers the full spectrum of Landlord and Tenant laws; however, the Chapter is further broken down into the following three separate Parts:

Part I: Nonresidential Tenancies (Commercial Tenancies)

Part II:  Residential Tenancies

Part III: Self-Service Storage Space

While the Statutes covered within each Part may appear similar, there are slight variations within them that greatly alter the rules to be followed by both the Landlord and Tenant.  This series of articles will go over several major differences between Part I (Nonresidential) and Part II (Residential).

This first article will go over how Florida has separate and distinct Statutes for Nonresidential (commercial) vs. Residential tenancies.

Part I: Nonresidential Statutes vs. Part II: Residential Statutes

Part I of Chapter 83 (Statutes 83.001 to 83.251) only covers Nonresidential (Commercial) tenancies; and Part II of Chapter 83 (Statutes 83.40 to 83.682) only covers Residential tenancies.  One cannot use Statutes in Part I to cover residential tenancies, and vice-versa.

Why Do Florida Statutes Treat Commercial Tenants Differently than Residential Tenants?

Florida Courts believe that Landlords have a substantial inequality in bargaining positions when negotiating a lease with a tenant for either a commercial or residential property.  In a commercial transaction, the Courts view both the landlord and tenant as coequal businessmen.  As such, both sides possess the ability of having equal resources and knowledge when entering into the lease terms.  In contrast, a residential tenant is merely a consumer in the residential marketplace in need of special protection akin to that provided by the Uniform Commercial Code in consumer transactions.

Due to the inherent disparities between residential and commercial tenants, the Statutes in Part II of Chapter 83 (residential) are mandatory; but the majority of the Statutes within Part I of Chapter 83 (nonresidential) are just “default provisions” that can be changed or replaced through a written lease agreement.

Related Posts:

Writ of Possession Statutes are Different for Residential & Commercial Evictions

Comments are closed.