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Roger
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31027
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I have a property rented out. I have a inpesctor who needs

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I have a property rented out. I have a inpesctor who needs to inspect the home wed @ 9 am. I have it in my lease that landlord and landlors agents shall have the right at all reasonable times during the term of this agreement. I have been telling them since Oct 24th that soon a inspection was going to take place. Then on Monday when I was told wed at 9:00 am. I adviced them they at first refused I explained it was very important and I have given them amble notice.
They finally after back and forth agreed to the appoinment. My question is since I have told them more than 24 hours in advance and since its in the lease. If they do not open the door can I have a lock smith open the door for the ispector? Is that against the law? Will I be putting my self in risk of being arrested? Should I call the sheriff before I go that route if needed?

Roger :

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Real Estate litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.

Roger :

Here's the Florida statute:

Roger :

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.

(2) 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. “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 in subsection (1) 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.


(3) The landlord shall not abuse the right of access nor use it to harass the tenant.
Roger :

Thus, the law is clear that you're only required to give 12 hours notice, and that you have the right to enter the premises WHEN THE TENANT UNREASONABLY WITHHOLDS CONSENT.

Roger :

You've given the tenant more than enough notice, so if they were to refuse, this statute gives you the "go ahead" to enter.

Customer:

So if I go and they are not there. Can I call a lock smith to open the door will I be breaking any law??

Roger :

If you don't have a key, and they lock you out after giving you consent, then you should have the right to enter. HOWEVER, before you get a locksmith, it would be better to call the tenant and ask them to come open the door.

Customer:

If they refuse then I can call the Sheriff and the locksmith?

Roger :

Yes, you should be able to do that based on the above statute.

Customer:

Okay thans for your help.

Roger :

The best option would likely be to issue the tenant a written statement that reminds them again of your need to enter Wednesday at 9 AM, and then inform that one of the following things needs to occur (1) they need to give you a key to enter (2) someone needs to be there to open the door or (3) that if neither 1 or 2 occur, that you will be forced to have a locksmith open the premises.

Roger :

That way, you've put them on notice of what you plan to do. Hopefully, you will not have to worry with this issue and they'll cooperate.

Roger :

It would be best if you had a local attorney write them this letter just to know that you're serious.

Roger and 2 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you

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