Are you a landlord trying to enter a tenant’s rental unit? Is a tenant refusing to grant access to the property? Do you need to perform necessary repairs without a tenant’s permission? Are you unable to sell a unit because a tenant won’t let prospective buyers enter? Or, are you a tenant whose landlord has entered without notice? Read on to learn more about Florida landlord and tenant rights, and to see how Evict FL may be able to help.
Questions surrounding landlord’s access to a tenant’s rental unit can be confusing and deeply risky. To avoid legal ramifications, it is important for both landlords and tenants to understand their rights.
When landlords may enter a rental unit in Florida
Florida landlords commonly question when they can, or cannot, access a tenant’s rental unit. While tenants who hold a valid lease do have a basic right to privacy in their homes, Florida Section 83.53 outlines several reasons a tenant may not unreasonably withhold consent for a landlord to enter the unit. These include:
- to inspect the premises
- in case of emergency, such as a fire or serious water leak
- to make repairs
- to decorate, alter or improve the premises
- to perform or supply services agreed upon between landlord and tenant
pursuant to a court order
- during a tenant’s extended absence, defined as one-half the time for periodic rental
payments, given that that the tenant did not notify the landlord of the absence
- to show the property to prospective new tenants, purchasers or contractors
What notice is needed to enter a Florida rental property?
A landlord must provide at least 12 hours notice to the tenant prior to entering a unit to make repairs. Additionally, landlords should note that repairs must be performed during a reasonable time, defined by Section 83.53 as 7:30am-8pm.
If the entry is for something that a reasonable person, i.e. a judge, would think needs more notice, then more notice should be given. For example, 12 hours notice might be sufficient for the repair of a leaky sink, but not for a carpet replacement that would require a tenant to clear out an entire room.
What if there is an emergency inside the rental unit?
No notice is required for emergency; the landlord can enter the dwelling unit at any time for the protection or preservation of the premises. This right of immediate entry may include situations such as a broken pipe, a gas leak, a flood, a fire or, if the tenant is in the process of actively damaging the rental unit.
How to secure a tenant’s consent
It is recommended that a landlord provide written notice to the tenant and make mutually agreeable arrangements before accessing a rental unit, regardless of the landlord’s purpose for entry. When providing written notices, be sure to include: the purpose of the entry, the date of entry, the approximate time of the entry. If you need assistance with preparing a Notice of Intent to Enter, contact us today.
What if a tenant won’t grant access to a rental unit?
Should a tenant not allow a landlord access to the rental unit, even after receiving written notice in compliance with Section 83.53, such refusal may be in violation of that statute and may also be a violation of the tenant’s lease. The remedy for failure to grant reasonable access is a Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure. For more information on this remedy, call us today at (800) 531-4587 or visit evictionlawyerflorida.com.
What if your Florida landlord entered without Notice?
If a landlord enters without providing notice, a tenant might claim a breach of the lease and seek termination of the lease and damages. The entering individual can also find his/herself being interviewed by the police based on the resident’s claim of trespass, theft, or worse. If a landlord continues to violate tenant privacy without notice or legitimate reason, a tenant may be able to sue for money damages. For advice on dealing with landlord invasions of privacy, call (800) 531-4587.
At Edelboim Lieberman Revah Oshinsky PLLC we help Florida landlords and tenants, like you, every day. If you are have questions or problems related to the access of a rental unit, call us today at (800) 531-4587 or visit us at evictionlawyerflorida.com.