According to Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes – specifically article 53 – a landlord cannot remove locks from a property unless it’s for the purpose of maintaining, repairing or replacing them. The same chapter also covers whether a tenant can change the property’s locks without the landlord’s content. Let’s take a look.

Landlord’s Access to the Property

According to Chapter 83, article 53 of the Florida Statutes, tenants have certain obligations when it comes to granting landlords access to the property. Landlords may require entry for a variety of reasons:

Inspections: Regular checks to ensure the property is in good condition.
Maintenance or Repairs: Addressing wear and tear or specific issues that arise.
Providing Agreed Services: This could include pest control, HVAC maintenance, or other services agreed upon in the lease.
Showing the Property: Landlords might need to show the property to potential buyers, tenants, or other stakeholders.

It’s also worth noting that landlords have the right to access the property at any time to protect or preserve it. This could be in situations where there’s a risk of damage or harm. However, in most cases, landlords should provide at least 12 hours’ notice and should visit between the hours of 7:30 A.M. and 8 P.M. There are exceptions, such as emergencies, when the tenant has given consent, if the tenant unreasonably denies access, or if the tenant has been absent for an extended period.

Changing the Locks as a Tenant

Security is a primary concern for many tenants. However, when it comes to changing locks, there are specific guidelines to follow. Unless the lease agreement explicitly allows it, tenants should not change the property locks without the landlord’s consent. Doing so can lead to complications, including potential eviction.

If a tenant feels their privacy is being violated due to a landlord’s frequent and unannounced visits, it’s crucial to address the issue. Communication is key. Discussing concerns with the landlord might lead to a resolution. However, if the problem persists, seeking legal counsel is advisable.

Due to our current caseload, our office simply does not the have the resources
needed to dedicate to any additional tenant legal matters.
Any tenant-specific legal matters should be referred to the following organization:
Lawyer Referral Service Online (available 24/7) —
or Phone (800) 342-8011 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Seeking Legal Advice

Navigating property rights can be complex. If tenants or landlords face issues related to property access, security, or any other disputes, consulting with a legal expert is essential. An experienced real estate attorney can provide guidance, ensuring that both parties’ rights are upheld and that any conflicts are resolved amicably.

***The opinions in this blog are those of the author whom takes full responsibility for the content. Like all other content on the site, this does not constitute legal advice and is for general information purposes only.***