Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Florida

This is in regards to landlord-tenant law in Florida.

I am renting a rather expensive condo which is on the market and am having issues with my landlord and her rental agents requesting very frequent and non-flexible showings. I have complied with the showings that have been requested within the 24 hours (stipulated in our lease) however I have made the small request that either myself of my husband be present during the entry of strangers to our home. I explained that I wished to protect my property and to restrain/comfort my pet in the presence of strangers. She replied that as long as she gave 24 hours notice, they could enter with or without our consent or presence. That feels like a very big invasion of privacy and abuse of the landlord's privilege of entry.

I believe I have made a very reasonable request, and have even provided alternate times that we would be available for showings on the SAME DAY. But, due to the rigidity of the potential customers or agents' schedules they will not attempt to compromise or negotiate.

Our lease only states on the matter: "The unit is for sale and listed on the MLS for viewing in a condition that will aid in the sale of the unit with 24 hours notice."

The Florida statue says:

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.

How should I handle my landlord? Before I signed the lease, she only offhandedly mentioned that it condo was on the market and said that it had not had any showings in a year- thus, I did not expect to be pestered for showings every few days since we moved in 2 months ago. We have 9 months left on our lease so the option to move soon is not on the table.

Thanks in advance.

Asked on 2/26/13, 9:55 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Barry Stein De Cardenas, Freixas, Stein & Zachary

You should have your lease agreement reviewed by an attorney to determine what the rights and obligations of the parties are within the four corners of the document. Then have that same lawyer write to the landlord advising how future entries should and will be handled.

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Answered on 2/26/13, 10:02 am
Lucreita Becude Lucreita D. Becude, P.A.

I agree with Mr. Stein. Unless you have an attorney notify this landlord they will continue to abuse your rights. If I can be of assistance, please contact my office for an appointment. 904-997-1031

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Answered on 2/26/13, 10:51 am

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