As a landlord, your are entitled to visiting your property – after all, you are the owner. But, on the other hand, are you truly allowed to step onto your rented property whenever you want regardless of whether or not the tenant is home?
Not respecting a tenant’s boundaries is a serious violation of an important Florida housing principle. This principle is called the Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment. Read on to learn what this covenant exactly stipulates, how it protects a tenant’s rights, and what a tenant can do if they feel those rights are being violated.
What is the Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment?
The Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment is a duty that Florida law imposes on landlords whether or not it is explicitly stated in the residential lease or contract. This covenant gives a tenant the right to enjoy his or her rented property without substantial interference from the landlord and without infringing on his or her privacy. Additionally, if a landlord wants to visit his or her property, he or she must give the tenant reasonable notice at least 12 hours in advance. Moreover, the tenant must give consent to the visit. However, a landlord is generally entitled to visiting the property in the following circumstances:
- if the tenant unreasonably withholds the consent
- in case of emergency
- if the tenant is absent from the property for a period of time that is equal to one-half of the rental payment term
Violations of Quiet Enjoyment
The following list contains the most common examples of violations of the Covenant; while it is by no means complete, it may give you a good idea of what a violation of Quiet Enjoyment looks like:
- Visiting too frequently
- Entering the property without permission or notice
- Refusing to give a tenant access to common areas or spaces on the residential premises
- Preventing a tenant from having guests under reasonable circumstances
What You Can Do?
If you are dealing with situations that may constitute a violation of the Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment, it is usually best to contact a qualified lawyer to ask for advice on what the best way to proceed would be given the circumstances. Our attorneys at Atlas Law can provide you with some basic guidelines during a free phone consultation. We will also advise whether legal action against your tenant may be warranted and be happy to represent your interests in a dispute that may ensue.