Florida law requires landlords to provide heat, not air conditioning. Michael Grieco wants to fix that

grieco
Florida is one of the hottest states in America.

In Florida, one of the hottest states in America year-round, landlords are required by law to provide tenants with “functioning facilities for heat during winter.” They don’t have to do the same for air conditioning.

It’s an absurd oversight, said Michael Grieco, a state Representative from Miami Beach who aims to correct the issue through legislation this Session.

“I almost fell over when I found out about it,” he told Florida Politics. “I’ll be filing a bill to address that specific issue, and we’ll see if it gets any traction.”

Florida Statute provides that landlords must comply with building, housing and health codes. They must maintain to “good repair” roofs, windows, screens, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations and “all other structural components” to resist normal forces and loads. Similarly, plumbing must be kept in “reasonable working condition.”

Based on whether the property is an apartment, duplex, single-family home or mobile home, landlords must also “make reasonable provisions” for locks, keys, clean and safe common areas, outside trash receptacles, garbage removal, smoke detectors, running water, hot water, the extermination of pests and working heating facilities.

The only mention of air conditioning in the statute, which spans 27 printable pages, requires tenants to “use and operate in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators.”

Grieco said he hopes his forthcoming bill receives bipartisan support. He’s not sure it will, considering the current political climate.

“I don’t know the legislative history behind this law,” he said. “It’ll be interesting if there’s push back after I file the bill and where it comes from — if there’s some organized opposition to it from landlords, because tenants generally don’t have organized support or oppositional defense. It may also not be consistent with the controlling party’s anti-regulation/deregulation of the state. I think it’s kind of an easy one, but we’ll see if they’re willing to run it.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


2 comments

  • CommonSense

    September 22, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    I’ve lived in Florida my entire life I have never had heat in any rental I’ve ever been in and many don’t have ac. In fact I can’t use 50% of my current living space because the temperature ranges from high triple digits to below freezing. I’m disabled and I pay $800 a month to spend every moment in bed because just going out into my living room is to dangerous I’ve experienced heat stroke in there and it’s literally collapsing but nobody will do anything despite being paid rent in full on time every month. I don’t think in 35 years as a citizen I’ve ever lived in any place that was up to code standards people like me get slumlords who scam us because they know we can’t afford to take them to court and they just make life unbearable until you either get sick and have to leave or raise rent and add fees until you have to leave. They have no fear they openly brag about how they pay off code enforcement to look the other way and all fighting will do is cost you. I have never been evicted but I have an eviction that was filed illegally 2 months after I moved out and the landlord sold a fraudulent debt in my name to several debt collectors stating I owed him thousands. You can’t collect from ssi he ruined my perfectly good rental history because he felt like it and he got away with it because he could. Florida is not about renters rights landlords don’t care about anything but how much they can get from you and so does everyone else.

  • Ron Ogden

    September 23, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    “It’s an absurd oversight, said Michael Grieco, a state Representative from Miami Beach who aims to correct the issue through legislation this Session.”
    Um m m. . .which party? Dunno, Jesse? Didn’t check? Hm m m. . . let’s see, a reference to “the controlling party’s anti-regulation/deregulation of the state.”
    Oh, I can INFER Rep. Grieco’s affiliation. To actually have you tell your readers that he’s a junior Demi is, I guess, a little extra you as a journalist aren’t required to provide in order to be doing your job. Kinda like air conditioning.

Comments are closed.


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