When a tenant signs a leasing agreement, the landlord typically collects a certain amount of cash known as the security deposit. This is a fee that’s a required payment apart from the advance rent payment. The deposit is refundable, under the right conditions.
This article tackles Security Deposit Returns in Florida. Learning the basics of this law helps you and the tenant avoid common conflicts circling around security deposit returns. But before that, we must explore the purpose of a security deposit.
Among the multiple reasons, Florida landlords benefit from collecting a security deposit since it can:
The security deposit is an acceptable refundable deposit across all US states. In Florida, these are the important points to remember about Security Deposit Returns:
No such limits exist in Florida for security deposits, but you can also check the city and county and municipal laws if there are capped limits from their end.
Under the security deposit law, a period of 15 to 30 days is given to the landlord in Florida to give back the deposit. If stored in an interest-bearing account as oppose to a non-interest-bearing account, the landlord must also return the amount made on interest. This is because the interest-bearing account is based on their deposit. This is in effect once the rental property is returned to the landlord’s possession: when the keys are back in the hands of the landlord and the tenant has left the rental unit. It’s a prerequisite that the landlord gives advance notice to the tenant if deductions are to be made.
No, it’s not mandatory in Florida to conduct walk-through inspections for security deposit purposes.
Withholding a renter’s deposit is allowed for multiple reasons. Among them, for example, is a tenant’s failure to pay the rent. Another reason is discovering property damage that occurs that’s not categorized under normal wear and tear.
There are 3 options granted to landlords on the security deposit storage prior to its return:
If changes occur and the rental home is sold, then it’s mandated that the landlord must transfer all the security deposits including the earned interest to the new owner, as per Florida landlord-tenant law.
The landlord must write a written request for the security deposit transfer. Once accomplished, the responsibility of keeping and returning security deposits will be under the new landlord/owner.
The Security Deposit Law is clear that the landlord is tasked to return the security deposit within a prescribed period of 15 to 30 days once the tenant leaves the property. If no deductions are going to be made, 15 days is the allotted time for the return. This includes all the earned interest as well.
If deductions are going to be made, then the landlord must alert the tenant. This notice must be sent within 30 days of the tenancy once the lease expired. If the landlord is unable to satisfy this mandate, then the right to make deductions on the security deposit is forfeited.
The written notice must contain information on the landlord’s intention to retain a part or all of the security deposit. The tenant must also be told that 15 days is allotted as a contest period from the receipt of the letter. The tenant must provide written notice to contest it. The alert from the landlord must be delivered to the tenant via certified mail.
If it’s not contested, then the partial amount of the security deposit must be made within 30 days of the initial written notice. If there are objections by the tenant, they’re going to be settled in court.
Returning the security deposit is incredibly important in order to adhere to the proper rental laws. However, there are many different timelines and conditions involved in this. If it seems overwhelming, consider hiring a professional property management company like Innovative Property Solutions. We can handle all security deposit concerns for you!
Note that this article must not be viewed as a substitute for legal advice. It’s recommended to seek legal advice from a licensed attorney in Florida or a property management company as laws frequently change or update.