Written by attorney Bram Louis Scharf

Landlord / Tenant: When can a Landlord enter a leased residential property?

Once a tenant agrees to rent a dwelling, the right to possession fo the tenant is much the same as the owner. However, like many general rules or laws, there are exceptions.

Pursuant to Florida Law, the landlord may enter the dwelling unit at any time for the protection or preservation of the premises. The landlord may enter the dwelling unit upon reasonable notice to the tenant and at a reasonable time for the purpose of repair of the premises or as agreed upon in the Lease.

“Reasonable notice" for the purpose of repair is notice given at least 12 hours prior to the entry, and reasonable time for the purpose of repair shall be between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. The landlord may enter the dwelling unit when necessary for the further purposes set forth under any of the following circumstances:

(a) With the consent of the tenant; (b) In case of emergency; (c) When the tenant unreasonably withholds consent; or (d) If the tenant is absent from the premises for a period of time equal to one-half the time for periodic rental payments.

If the rent is current and the tenant notifies the landlord of an intended absence, then the landlord may enter only with the consent of the tenant or for the protection or preservation of the premises. If the tenant materially fails to comply with the obligations outlined in Florida Statute Section 83.52 or material provisions of the rental agreement, other than a failure to pay rent, or reasonable rules or regulations, the landlord may deliver a written notice to the tenant specifying the noncompliance and the landlord’s intent to terminate the rental agreement by reason thereof.

Examples of noncompliance which are of a nature that the tenant should not be given an opportunity to cure include, but are not limited to, destruction, damage, or misuse of the landlord’s or other tenants’ property by intentional act or a subsequent or continued unreasonable disturbance. In such event, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement, and the tenant shall have 7 days from the date that the notice is delivered to vacate the premises.

All notices to tenants must be in writing. It is a good practice to keep a log of all communications with tenants.

See the links below for the applicable statutes. The information contained in this Guide does not create an attorney/client relationship and is given for informational purposes only. Before a landlord enters the dwelling of a leased property without the consent of a tenant, the landlord should consult with an attorney.

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