Do You Know Florida Security Deposit Law?
When it comes to security deposits, Florida landlords and tenants both have very important rights and responsibilities that landlords should be aware of. All landlords should have a security deposit clause in every one of their leases.
Let’s do a quick overview of what a security deposit is.
A security deposit is an amount of money (usually equal to one month’s rent) that is collected by the landlord to pay for property damage caused by a tenant’s negligence or carelessness. This deposit amount is refundable. The landlord may return the deposit in part or in whole depending on the amount of damage that the tenant inflicts on the property.
There are some aspects that you may want to know about this law specifically on the sunshine state:
In Florida, a walk-through inspection isn’t necessary. However, in other states like California and Arizona, this process is required.
It is mandatory for landlords to give the tenant a written notice after receiving the security deposit. After its receipt, a landlord must notify the tenant, in writing, of its receipt within thirty days.
Landlords can keep a tenant’s security deposit or even make deductions from the renter’s security deposit, common reasons include: to cover non-payment of rent, property damage in excess of normal wear and tear, and any damage caused by the tenant’s negligence or carelessness.
Florida’s Security Deposit Law requires a landlord to return the security deposit to the tenant within 15 days if the landlord does not intend to make a claim upon the deposit
If a landlord plans to return all of the security deposit, then it must be done within fifteen days after the lease has been terminated. If a landlord wishes to make deductions on the security deposit, then the law requires them to notify the tenant in writing of their intentions. The notice must be sent to the tenant thirty days after lease termination.
This notice must follow a specific format. If landlords do not adhere to this format, they forfeit the claim to the security deposit.
In a dispute for a security deposit, the loser must pay attorney’s fees. So be sure that you have a good case before filing a lawsuit.
This overview of security deposit laws in Florida is only meant to be informational.If you have any other doubts or for specific questions, call us (786) 504 5760, we can help you!