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TexLaw, Attorney
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I own a rental home in Florida. The tenants changed the lock

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I own a rental home in Florida. The tenants changed the lock and will not give me a key, and only let me in to inspect with their permission. Don't I have a right to my own key, and don't I have a right to enter for any reasonable reason with 24 hour's notice, whether they 'permit' me to or not?

Thank you for submitting your important legal issue to Just Answer. I am pleased to have the opportunity to provide you with an honest and easy to understand answer to your question.

I am an attorney licensed in the State of Texas. The following information is a brief answer to your question. However, if you feel that you need further information or that you have other insights which might help me in providing a better answer, please feel free to write back.

Title VI of the Florida Statutes states:
83.53 Landlord's access to dwelling unit.--

(1) The tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter the dwelling unit from time to time in order to inspect the premises; make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements; supply agreed services; or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors.

You may also enter the dwelling at any time for the preservation and protection of the premises. Specifically included in this provision is when the tenant unreasonably withholds consent. Implied by this right to enter the dwelling at any time under certain circumstances is the right to have a key to the lock.

You also have a right to enforce your right to enter the premises and to possess a key in court.

However, you are incorrect regarding the 24 hours notice. Your right to enter the property is based only on a "reasonable" notice. This could be more than 24 hours depending on the circumstances.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If we can be of any further assistance please free to use our service again. Best wishes for a successful outcome.

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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Zachary D. Norris or The Norris Law Firm. For complete legal advice and representation, you should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your state.

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