Florida Security Deposit Laws

At some point in everyone's life, there comes a need to rent an apartment. While rent is often the number one concern that people focus on when deciding what rental property fits their needs, the security deposit that practically every landlord requires can also eliminate some potential living spaces. Since Florida security deposit laws do not provide set limits on what landlords can charge for this initial money advance, the sticker shock for some rental properties may hit renters with the force of a Mack truck. This is a quick summary of the security deposit laws in Florida.

Renters' Rights Under Florida Security Deposit Laws

When it comes to Florida security deposit laws and other landlord tenant issues, there are several renters' rights that tenants should be aware of. The following table outlines the specifics of Florida security deposit laws.

Code Sections

Florida Statutes §83.49: Deposit Money Or Advance Rent; Duty Of Landlord And Tenant

Security Deposit Limits

According to Florida security deposit laws, there are no set limits on how much a landlord may charge for a security deposit. However, city ordinances may limit how much a landlord can charge for these types of deposits.

Handling of Security Deposit by Landlord

Under Florida security deposit laws, whenever money is deposited by a tenant on a rental agreement as security for performance of the rental agreement, the landlord must hold the total amount of such money in a separate non-interest-bearing account in a Florida banking institution for the benefit of the tenant or tenants. The landlord shall not commingle such moneys with any other funds of the landlord.

Return of the Security Deposit by Landlord

Upon the vacating of the premises for termination of the lease, if the landlord does not intend to impose a claim on the security deposit, the landlord has 15 days to return the security deposit together with interest. However, the landlord shall have 30 days to give the tenant written notice by certified mail to the tenant's last known mailing address of his or her intention to impose a claim on the deposit and the reason for imposing the claim.

If the landlord fails to give the required notice within the 30-day period, he or she forfeits the right to impose a claim upon the security deposit and may not seek a setoff against the deposit but may file an action for damages after return of the deposit.

Timely Objection to Landlord's Deductions

Unless the tenant objects to the landlord's claim within 15 days after receipt of the landlord's notice of intention to impose a claim, the landlord may then deduct the amount of his or her claim and must remit the balance of the deposit to the tenant within 30 days.

If you believe that your security deposit rights have been violated and wish to seek further legal assistance, FindLaw can help you locate a Florida landlord/tenant attorney. Explore FindLaw to learn more about your security deposit and your landlord/tenant rights.

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