Security deposits are generally collected after a tenant has signed a lease to rent an apartment, condo, or single-family home and are held by the landlord until the renter’s lease expires and they move out. At that time, the landlord will usually conduct an inspection of the property to determine if the tenant left anything unclean or damaged and determine if any amount needs to be deducted from the security deposit to make up for this. While some security deposits are only for small amounts, others may be a few thousand depending on what the landlord’s requirements were at the time the tenant applied for the property.
Once a tenant has moved out of the property, their landlord is required to (1) either provide them with the full amount of their security deposit within 15 days after they have moved out or, (2) provide them with written notice within 30 days after moving out as to why some or none of their deposit won’t be returned [Source: The Florida Bar].
What are some reasons why a landlord won’t return a security deposit?
A landlord may decide not to return a tenant’s security deposit when:
- The tenant failed to provide the landlord with a new address to mail their security deposit to.
- The tenant left the property with significant damage or failed to clean it according to the terms outlined in their lease agreement.
- The tenant broke their lease agreement. This can be done when a tenant moves out earlier than their lease end date or if they fail to give proper notice to their landlord of their intention to move on or before their lease end date.
- The tenant fails to pay rent and is evicted from the property.
What if a tenant doesn’t agree with a landlord’s decision to keep some or all of their security deposit?
If a tenant believes they are rightfully due their full security deposit or at least a portion of it, they do have the right to object in writing within 15 days of receiving notice from the landlord. If a landlord is unable to substantiate their reasoning for keeping some or all of a tenant’s security deposit, they may be required to return it. if a landlord is required to return a tenant’s security deposit that they were initially going to keep, they may owe the individual their full deposit plus interest depending on when they mail it to the tenant.
In the event a landlord is refusing to return a tenant’s security deposit that they are rightfully due, they can contact an Orlando, FL real estate lawyer who can help them understand what their legal rights are in the matter. Depending on the amount of the security deposit, an individual might want to consider retaining an Orlando, FL real estate attorney for legal help. Legal Counsel P.A. does provide legal assistance to those who are experiencing an issue with a landlord and can be reached at 407-395-2653.
Legal Counsel P.A. is located at:
189 S. Orange Avenue, Ste. 1800
Orlando, FL 32801
Email: [email protected]