Fort Myers apartment complex enacts ‘no visitors’ policy

Reporter: Sara Girard Writer: Jackie Winchester

A Fort Myers apartment complex sent a letter to residents telling them they can’t have visitors for 30 days.

One woman said the letter, dated March 24, immediately worried her. The 67-year-old, who wants to remain anonymous, said she’s recovering from surgery and needs her son to deliver groceries and run her errands.

“…Thirty days of isolation, the government hasn’t done that any place, for anybody. So I think it’s extreme.”

While the letter says the management company is making an exception for caregivers or health care workers, she still feels it’s unfair to tenants.

According to the letter, the company says the new rule is meant to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, reading, “We intend to enforce this new rule as if it were originally included in your lease.”

But is that allowed?

Attorney Carmen Dellutri said no.

“Unfortunately under Florida law, you can’t do that,” Dellutri said.

It’s a breach of contract, the attorney said, and could violate tenants’ rights to “quiet enjoyment” – basically, the right to do what you want, legally, in your own home.

“The only caveat to that would be if the governor of the state of Florida came out with some mandatory lockdown order, under some power that he has and says no one can go visit anybody,” Dellutri said.

That hasn’t happened, as of yet.

“…We don’t want an outbreak in an apartment complex. Especially amongst the elderly population, I get that. But there are better ways to handle it then throwing this at the residents and saying you can’t do this.”

WINK News reached out to the apartment complex, and they said “no comment.”

The management company has not responded to requests for comment.

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