Termites in Rental And I'm Unable to Access The Property

6 Replies

Tenant told me he's seen termites. He is always traveling and doesnt want me to access the house until he comes back which will be in 2 weeks. My question is... do I have wait.  How do I address this.  I'm in Florida and I want to follow up as soon as possible.   

Not in most cases, most leases have a notice that you must give before you go usually 24 hours, check your lease and then your laws, however unlike other major problems such as flooding, termites aren't going to get that much worse in 2 weeks if you had to wait.

That's up to you as to whether you want to accommodate his request but Florida Landlord-Tenant Law is very clear:  

"Except in cases of emergency, landlords who want to enter rental property in Florida for needed inspection and repairs after giving tenants 12 hours' notice of their intent to enter (unless the tenant agrees to a shorter time), and must enter only at reasonable times (defined as between 7:30am and 8:00 pm)."

While I respect the earlier contributor's view, time is of the essence when it comes to termites here in Florida. We simply have a lot of humidity -and it's been a killer rainy season - so the breeding ground is ripe.  One alternative might be to do an exterior inspection first; look for sources/entry points and correct/treat there.  I take issue with a tenant who reports a termite issue (which can do serious damage to your property) and then tells me I can't act until he's available.  It's simply not his ball, his court.

If you elect to wait until he returns to do the interior treatment, I recommend letting him know in writing that inspections will be completed with 12 hours notice - whether he is there or not - per the Florida Landlord-Tenant Law going forward. Also make sure this is in your lease going forward.

Tell him you will do an inspection of the outside and then arrange for someone to come in as soon as he's back. Find out when he's available and book accordingly telling him you will not cancel the appointment (meaning you are going in regardless).

I never ask my tenants IF I can enter the house. I always tell them that I need to for x, y, z. I of course try to work around their schedules as much as possible and will adjust to some extent.

In this case, I’d say, per lease (or per FL law) “xxx 24 hours notice... and unfortunately this is something urgent that needs to be taken care of.

If you feel ok waiting, I would personally try. I do want my tenants to feel like I respect their privacy. Termites have been there for how long? Will another week make a difference? (Maybe it will?)