DENIAL OF ACCESS BY RESIDENT FOR SHOWING A PROPERTY
FOR SALE OR RENT
The Law On Access
Florida law specifically addresses access rights by the landlord/agent/manager, and your lease agreement may further address the issue.
83.53 Manager's access to dwelling unit.—
- The resident shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the manager 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, residents, workers, or contractors.
- The manager may enter the dwelling unit at any time for the protection or preservation of the premises. The manager may enter the dwelling unit upon reasonable notice to the resident 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 manager may enter the dwelling unit when necessary for the further purposes set forth in subsection (1) under any of the following circumstances:
- With the consent of the resident;
- In case of emergency;
- When the resident unreasonably withholds consent; or
- If the resident 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 resident notifies the manager of an intended absence, then the manager may enter only with the consent of the resident or for the protection or preservation of the premises.
The Resident Lock Change
If the resident changes the locks on the premises, this may be in violation of the lease agreement, if there is a clause providing that the resident is forbidden to change the locks. The resident is not necessarily in violation of Florida law though, unless he fails to deny you access by virtue of this lock change. If it is determined that the resident has changed the locks and is in violation of the lease, he must be served a Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure. The unauthorized resident lock change really is the easy case and does not pose too many problems if the resident complies and gives you a key. There are many reasons why a resident may have changed the locks, and as long as the manager has access, this is usually not a real problem.
Seven Day Notice
If your resident is refusing access for showings, the resident must be served a Seven Day Notice To Cure. In an eviction action you may then need to establish to a judge that you were denied access by making written appointments and being able to prove that each time, you were denied access. You must be able to prove you gave written notice to the resident and the resident has told you that you have no access or you went to the unit and the tenant denies you access.
The Resident Refuses You Access
If the resident has already stated when you can or cannot come to show the unit, or has made it clear that you cannot come during regular business hours, you must immediately begin to document everything and the roadblocks that the resident is putting up. All phone calls, emails, responses and witnesses need to be documented for later use. If you go out to show the unit and the resident flat out denies you access, you will preferably have a witness and should document this carefully. At the same time, inform the resident when you will be back using a written notice. If the resident refuses access again, attempt to have the resident sign your notice proving that he or she refused you access. You can also consider giving a Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure at this time based upon the resident unreasonably denying access after have been provided notice. Now it is time to try again. You have given the resident a WRITTEN notice of when you will be returning to honor the notice. If the resident again refuses you access, document everything all over again. If you don't expect cooperation by the resident, always have a witness with you to show that the resident has refused access. Everything must be done in writing, and every denial of access must be documented.
If you can prove you gave notice on multiple occasions and the resident has refused your showing on multiple occasions, we may be able to file an eviction.
NOTE: You can never force yourself in for showings or show the unit if you have been told you cannot show the unit and if you do, you may be civilly sued or possibly arrested and criminally charged.
- The Curable Noncompliance Examined PART 1
- THE CURABLE NONCOMPLIANCE EXAMINED PART 2
- THE WRIT OF POSSESSION – WHAT IT IS
- THE WRIT OF POSSESSION AND THE FULL UNIT
- WORK ORDER COMPANY POLICY AND THE LAW