Florida Statutes 83.64 Retaliatory conduct
The allegation of retaliatory conduct by the landlord is a defense that may be raised in an eviction law suit.
(1) It is unlawful for a landlord to discriminatorily increase a tenant’s rent or decrease services to a tenant, or to bring or threaten to bring an action for possession or other civil action, primarily because the landlord is retaliating against the tenant. In order for the tenant to raise the defense of retaliatory conduct, the tenant must have acted in good faith. Examples of conduct for which the landlord may not retaliate include, but are not limited to, situations where:
- The tenant has complained to a governmental agency charged with responsibility for enforcement of a building, housing, or health code of a suspected violation applicable to the premises;
- The tenant has organized, encouraged, or participated in a tenant organization;
- The tenant has complained to the landlord pursuant to s. 83.56(1);
- The tenant is a servicemember who has terminated a rental agreement pursuant to s. 83.682;
- The tenant has paid rent to a condominium, cooperative, or homeowners’ association after demand from the association in order to pay the landlord’s obligation to the association; or
- The tenant has exercised his or her rights under local, state, or federal fair housing laws.
- Evidence of retaliatory conduct may be raised by the tenant as a defense in any action brought against him or her for possession.
- In any event, this section does not apply if the landlord proves that the eviction is for good cause. Examples of good cause include, but are not limited to, good faith actions for nonpayment of rent, violation of the rental agreement or of reasonable rules, or violation of the terms of this chapter.
- “Discrimination” under this section means that a tenant is being treated differently as to the rent charged, the services rendered, or the action being taken by the landlord, which shall be a prerequisite to a finding of retaliatory conduct.