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Legally re-entering a dwelling after abandonment by the tenant

On Behalf of | Oct 8, 2021 | Real Estate Transactions |

Owning rental property and becoming a landlord may not always be easy. Beyond collecting rent from your tenants, you may also experience situations when tenants are noisy, bothering their neighbors.

If a tenant leaves without giving you notice, you may not know if they have left for good (abandoning the unit) or if they had to tend to a family emergency. Florida law restricts when you are able to enter an empty unit.

Work within the law so a former tenant cannot say you violated their rights

Your tenant may have removed all of their possessions and moved out without giving you proper notice. Under state law, this may be considered an abandonment of the unit if they still owe rent.

The unit is officially abandoned if your tenant has been absent for a minimum of 15 days. Once this time expires, you may legally enter the unit to prepare it for a new tenant.

Good timing is vital in landlord-tenant law

While you may be trying to keep all of your units full, if you act too quickly, your tenant may return. Once they do, they may be legally able to accuse you of violating their rights as a tenant.

Wait until the 15-day period has expired before you try to enter the unit. By the time, if your tenant has not returned or called you, you may begin to remove any belongings they may have left behind.

When you may be able to consider an apartment “abandoned”

Florida law sets this at 15 days. If you do find the tenant’s belongings inside, your situation is now more complex. By learning what you are legally able to do, you may protect your rights as a landlord.

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