What legal rights do I have as a tenant? My landlord has been overstepping boundaries and I need help.

My landlord which I don’t know if she is legally renting this place out to me or not has entered my residence without notification, has harassed my guest and me, told me I was not allowed to have visitors. And she now is asking me for the rent on the 15th when it is due on the 1st and I told her that it is due on the first, but she came back if you don’t give me the money, you will need to leave the property.

Asked on June 13, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You most likely can treat the lease as terminated due to your landlord denying you the "quiet enjoyment" of your rental unit: a tenant is entitled to use and enjoy his or her rental without undue interference from or disturbance by the landlord. You should, however, provide at least one, preferably at least two, written notices to the landlord, sent some way that you can prove deliver (e.g. fed ex or certified mail), receiting her entry of your residence and harassment of your guest and asking her to desist; if she does not stop doing this after written notice and an opportunity to stop, you should be on strong ground to claim termination of your lease due to her violation of your right to quiet enjoyment.
As to the rent: if the lease says that the rent is due on the 1st, she can't change that without your consent or agreement. If she tries to evict you for that reason and you want to stay, as long as you pay when the lease says the rent is due, her attempts to evict you should be unsuccessful.


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