Can I Enter My Rental If It Is Vacated And Eviction Pending?

This week a landlord asks

This week a landlord asks “can I enter my rental property” if the tenant has vacated and the eviction is still pending is the question for Ask Landlord Hank. Remember Hank is not an attorney and is not offering legal advice. If you have a question for him please fill out his form below.

Dear Landlord Hank:

My tenant has not paid rent in three months, and there are still four months left on the lease.

She has completely vacated the property and has not waited for the eviction process to run its course.

She has done a lot of damage, so I need to get work done before I can advertise for new tenants.

Do I have the right to enter my rental property unit now and start to clean up before the eviction case has been presented to the judge?

–Frances

Dear Landlady Frances,

Has the tenant told you she is leaving, and did she leave her keys?

Usually in a lease, there is a “default” clause that says that if the tenant abandons the premises, that constitutes default and that the landlord may retake possession of the premises.

That is my understanding of the law here in Florida and Georgia, but if the tenant told you she was leaving and terminating her lease, I would change locks and ready the property for the next tenant.

Even though she owes back rent, go through all proper protocol for your state regarding the security deposit, notices, etc.

Sincerely,

Hank Rossi

Each week I answer questions from landlords and property managers across the country in my “Dear Landlord Hank” blog in the digital magazine Rental Housing Journal.  https://rentalhousingjournal.com/asklandlordhank/

Can I Enter My Rental If It Is Vacated And Eviction Pending
Landlord Hank says, “Usually in a lease, there is a “default” clause that says that if the tenant abandons the premises, that constitutes default and that the landlord may retake possession of the premises.”

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