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Can the landlord come in and show your apartment?

If you're renting an apartment -- or a whole building, for that matter -- your landlord may want to start showing the apartment before you even move out. This way, he or she can have someone else in the property the day you leave, so as not to lose even a single rent check. Is this legal, or do you have a right to privacy?

It all depends on your lease agreement. In most cases, the landlord will just put a clause in the lease saying that the apartment or home can be shown as necessary. It may specify that this can only happen at a certain point, such as when your lease is close to running out or if you say you aren't going to sign on for another year.

In some apartment complexes, they'll have one or two apartments that they show, and the rest are not bound by these clauses. Tenants in these apartments may get a cheaper rate in exchange for keeping the place clean and ready to show at a moment's notice.

If your lease has any of these sorts of clauses, it is legal for the landlord to come in, and it may even be legal for the apartment to be shown while you're not there. It all depends on the wording. This is why it's so important to read the entire lease before you sign. Don't just skim it, look at the cost per month and sign your name.

If your landlord does violate the lease agreement in any way, though, perhaps violating your own right to privacy and making you feel unsafe, you also need to know what legal steps can be taken in Florida.

Source: Zillow, "Does the landlord have a right to show the property before I move out.," Steve Matthews, accessed June 24, 2016

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