Waiver of Liability in Your Rental Lease? Understand Your Rights in Florida

As you walk down the stairs of your apartment building, you slip and fall on a broken step. The hospital treats you for a fractured ankle that will need surgery to fully heal. You contact your landlord, who refers you to his attorney. You contact the attorney the next day. She tells you to read your lease more carefully as it contains a waiver of liability. This provision absolves the landlord of any responsibility for incidents such as this, even those due to the landlord’s negligence.

Does this mean you have no recourse? Fortunately, no. While your lease may include a waiver of liability, it holds no weight under Florida’s Landlord Tenant Act. This legislation prohibits any lease provision that waives the tenant’s rights to pursue claims against their landlord for negligence. It protects against any provisions that would waive the tenant’s rights and protections granted under the Act.

Residential Lease Waiver of Liability Provisions

Like any business, landlords, especially larger corporate entities, seek to limit liability as much as possible. One way to limit liability is to include waivers in the lease. A lease is a “take it or leave it” contract, that you can choose to sign or not sign. Therefore, it has become increasingly common in many leases to find clauses absolving landlords of liability for claims during a tenant’s occupancy. This provision mirrors the one in your lease mentioned above.

Florida Law Regarding Residential Lease Waivers

Florida law is clear: residential lease provisions releasing landlords from liability or waiving tenant protections are illegal. Even if this provision appears in your lease, the chances are good that a court will invalidate it. Thus, in the scenario above, it would not matter that your lease includes this waiver provision. Your landlord would not be able to enforce it against you to bar your claim against them for the injuries you suffered due to the landlord’s negligence.

Contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley

At Schwed, Adams, & McGinley, P.A., our seasoned personal injury attorneys boast over 200 years of combined experience. We handle various slip and fall incidents, motor vehicle accidents, and other personal injury cases. We’ve successfully challenged landlords attempting to use lease waivers as a defense against our clients’ claims. Regardless of lease language, landlords cannot evade liability under Florida law. If you or a loved one are injured due to landlord negligence, contact us today for a free consultation at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com.