EXPERIENCED LANDLORD/TENANT ATTORNEY
JACQUELINE A. SALCINES, ESQ.
All residential Landlord Tenant actions in Florida are governed by Florida Statutes Chapter §83. All landlords who collect a “security deposit” from the tenant are required to maintain that security deposit in a separate, non comingled account for the benefit of the tenant. Florida Statutes does not permit a landlord to use the security deposit for the payment of any rent or late fees, or any default under the residential lease. However, landlord and tenant can opt out of the Florida Statutes and agree to allow the landlord to use the monies if the tenant breaches or breaks any terms of the lease.
Upon expiration of the lease, the rules that govern the return of the security deposit are extremely strict. The landlord has exactly 15 days from the date the tenant vacates the property, to remit a letter setting forth any amounts the landlord is going to retain from the security deposit.
The terms of the lease will again dictate what the landlord can charge. For example, cleaning, painting, etc. As long as the landlord sends the letter in writing to the last known address of the tenant, he or she can keep the deposit or a portion thereof.
If the intention is to not keep it, then the landlord has a designated time to return it as well.
Usually this provision of Florida Statutes is not understood or even known by landlords and when tenants sue for the return of the deposit, because the landlord did not follow the letter of the law, regardless of whatever damages there are, he or she can not keep the deposit.
Due to the complexity of Florida Statutes Chapter §83, and how very costly the keeping or using of a security deposit contrary to law can be, it is best to hire an attorney to handle an eviction for you.
At the Law Offices of Jacqueline Salcines, PA, attorney Jacqueline Salcines has been a practicing real estate and litigation attorney for the past 16 years. She is well versed in Landlord Tenant law and has given many pro-bono lectures and seminars on the topic, including for legal aid. Allow us to protect your interests, whether you are a landlord or a tenant. The first consultation is always free of charge.
Call us today 305 669 5280
Visit us today at WWW.Salcineslaw.com or
Email attorney Jacqueline Salcines directly at J.Salcines@salcineslaw.com