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Does someone need "Power of Attorney" to do walk through of property with tenant if owner is out of state?

Eustis, FL |

I own a house in FL, but live in CA. I gave my tenant 15 days notice to be out (there was no written lease). He refused doing a walk through with the person I sent to the property saying he needed "Power of Attorney" to do so, so there was no walk through and no return of keys. He notified me via email 2 days after he was supposed to vacate to tell me that he sent keys & garage openers certified mail. Now when I get the keys I have to send them back to the person in FL so he can check the condition of the house. Am I allowed to hold his security deposit until the condition can be verified? He was asked to leave because I wanted to put the house up for sale but he refused to let the agent show the house. Does he have to give me a forwarding address?

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Attorney answers 2


Since the tenant has mailed the keys and it appears he has vacated, obtaining a power of attorney (POA) may not be an issue. When you receive the keys, I would instruct your agent who went to do the prior inspection to go back and try to do the inspection. If he has not vacated, you may want to get a (POA) just to make the process easier. This is a scenario that you arguably need a (POA) if the tenant is being unreasonable in not allowing your agent to do the inspection without a POA. If the tenant has not vacated the premises after the 15 day notice to vacate, you may commence an eviction action.
As for the security deposit, it is in your tenant's best interest to provide you with a current mailing address since you only have the obligation to send the deposit or a claim upon the deposit to the last known address of the tenant. If you do not intend to impose a claim on the deposit, you have 15 days to provide the tenant with the deposit. If you do intend to impose a claim, you have 30 days to advise the tenant of your intent to impose a claim on the deposit.

This response does not create an attorney-client relationship. Unless you are already a client of the Law Office of Preston H. Oughton, pursuant to an executed fee agreement, you should not use, interpret, or rely on this response as legal advice or opinion. Do not act on any information in this response without seeking legal advice. Preston H. Oughton (904) 854-6336.


Send the letter certified to the last known address, even if it is the property address.
Send it within 15 days after you receive the keys.
That should be plenty of time to get the keys back to the property manager and have
them assess the damage.
Make sure that the property manager takes lots of pictures before cleaning up or repairing damages and make sure that the pm takes lots of pictures as "before" pix for the next tenant if you plan to rent again.

Carol Lynne Zimmerly

Carol Lynne Zimmerly


No, the landlord's agent does not have to have a POA document in order to act as agent.

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