If a landlord enters my home without notice, can I withhold rent until the matter is rectified to my satisfaction or can they be held responsible for compensating me in any way?

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If a landlord enters my home without notice, can I withhold rent until the matter is rectified to my satisfaction or can they be held responsible for compensating me in any way?

It happened once.

Asked on June 23, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you withhold rent over this, you can be evicted, because the law does NOT let you withhold rent over a single entry by the landlord. There is also no compensation you could receive for a single entry, unless they broke, stole, etc. something, in which case they owe you the value of whatever was taken or destroyed and you could sue them (and possibly report them to the police) for that.

Only if there is a pattern of improper entries or other harassment or violations of your possession of the space might you have a remedy for what would then be a deprivation of your right to quiet enjoyment.

For now, send the landlord a letter, sent some way you can prove delivery, politely and professionally reminding them that unless it's an emergency (e.g. a fire or large leak), they cannot enter your home without notice and that you expect this will not happen again. Keep a log of all occasions when it does happen, if it does happen again. At some point, if it keeps happening, you will have enough to take legal action and seek compensation.


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