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Certain actions prohibited in landlord-tenant disputes

Hopefully, after you have settled on terms and signed on the dotted line of a lease, the duration of your stay in a rented business property will be free of any serious disagreements with your landlord. Unfortunately, sometimes disputes do occur and a landlord may attempt to force a tenant from the premises. Such situations can prove very difficult, especially if the landlord acts in a particularly aggressive manner.

Even if a property is the legal possession of a landlord, a tenant does have rights. There are certain measures that landlords are legally prohibited from taking while a renter is occupying a property. It is not permissible for a landlord in Florida to do any of the following in an effort to force a tenant to vacate the premises.

  • A landlord may not remove windows, walls, outside doors or locks. The exception being for replacement or repairs.
  • A landlord may not remove from the dwelling any personal property belonging to the tenant. The exception being if the removal takes place subsequent to the premises being abandoned, surrendered or if the last remaining tenant has died.
  • A landlord may not change the locks or apply any other means of denying access to the tenant.
  • A landlord may not shut down utilities or cause an interruption of service. This includes service controlled or paid for by the landlord.

If you have signed a lease and you are meeting your obligations as a tenant, you should be free to enjoy the benefits of the property that you are renting. If, for some reason, a landlord-tenant dispute should take place, you will likely want to seek a resolution as soon as possible.

One step toward a resolution could be to seek the advice of a Florida commercial real estate attorney. By going over and strictly interpreting all the terms and obligations laid out in your lease, the attorney may be able to formulate a legal strategy for resolving your issues.

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Warren Gammill & Associates

Suite 400, Courthouse Plaza
28 West Flagler Street
Miami, Florida 33130

Phone: 305-579-0000
Fax: 305-371-6927

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