One of the most common questions landlords have when renting out their properties is about when they are allowed to enter. Florida has very specific rules that govern when a landlord can and can not enter a property they are renting to a tenant. Violating these laws is not just an invasion of the tenant’s right to privacy, but it can also put the landlord in serious legal trouble.
In Florida, landlords must generally give their tenants at least 12 hour notice before entering a rental property. If the tenant agrees to allow the landlord in sooner than 12 hours, that is okay too. The main point here is that the tenant has a right to know when the landlord intends to come, so they can put away their personal belongings.
A landlord must notify the tenant and make entry during what Florida law considers to be a reasonable time. That means the landlord cannot notify the tenant at midnight that they intend to enter the property the next night at midnight. Notices and entries must be made between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., according to the statute.
The landlord is allowed to conduct regular inspections of their rental properties, as long as tenants are properly notified. With property management services at Douglas Realty Property Management, we inspect properties on a set schedule which is outlined in the rental agreement. While this provided schedule meets the notification requirements in Florida, it is also advisable to still give the tenant the 12-hour notice in case they forget about an inspection date.
If there is an emergency at the property, such as a flood or fire, the landlord has the right to enter without prior notice. However, the landlord is only allowed to deal with the emergency situation and is not permitted to touch or otherwise handle the tenant’s belongings. If you do have to enter an occupied property due to an emergency, it is wise to limit the number of people entering to only the absolute necessity in order to preserve the tenant’s privacy.
Under Florida law, if the landlord establishes that the property has been abandoned by the tenant, then the landlord can enter the property to prepare it for occupation by another tenant. However, there is a lot of gray area concerning this and all landlords would be well advised to consult with an attorney before entering an abandoned property, especially if the former tenant’s personal items are still there.
To establish abandonment, the property must be vacant for at least half of the rental payment period. For rent that is collected monthly, this means the property must be vacant for at least 15 days before it is considered abandoned.
Unreasonable Denial of Entry
In Florida, tenants are not allowed to deny entry to a landlord if they were given proper notice. Tenants are also not permitted to claim they did not see the notice as long as the landlord provided it in a proper manner. Landlords can enter the property after the 12 hour notification period regardless of what the tenant wants, as long as it is within the reasonable hours defined by Florida law.
Property Management in Southwest Florida
Landlord-tenant laws and issues can be very complex. Let us handle the dirty work for you with high-quality, comprehensive property management services. Our expert team will handle all aspects of the rental property, from tenant acquisition to inspections to payments to repairs — we do it all! Call Douglas Realty Property Management at (239) 542-6906 or contact us online to find out how hassle-free property management can be!