Security Deposit Laws in Florida

realtor to sign the contract agreement and pay a security deposit

If you are renting in the state of Florida, you should know that, legally, a security deposit is typically required. 

Security deposits are normally one month’s rent — meant to cover damage to the premises beyond normal wear and tear. Additionally, it is an alternative if a tenant leaves their lease a month early without paying their rent. 

Sometimes, things can go wrong, which will prompt you to seek help from a rental lawyer. If you are experiencing issues with a security deposit – reach out to Ferrer Law Group today.

What are Florida Security Deposit Laws?

There are no laws in Florida that limits a landlord from charging a tenant for a security deposit. But you can always check with your city and county laws to see if your municipality has a cap set on security deposits for rentals. 

Within 30 days of a landlord receiving a deposit, the landlord must disclose the following in writing:

  • The name of the account depository
  • Whether the funds will be in an interest or non-interest bearing account
  • The time and rate of interest payments

Florida security deposit law states that all landlords that collect a deposit must also include a copy of the Florida Statue Annotated section in the lease. If any interest payments are being made — it can only be annually and when the tenant terminates their lease. But if the tenant wrongfully terminates their lease before the end of their rental term, they owe no interest. 

According to Florida security deposit law, landlords in the state of Florida must also provide renters with a notice in advance before taking anything out of their deposit.

What Does a Security Deposit Cover?

Here are some of the main reasons why there is a collection of the security deposit Florida:

  • To protect against damage to the premises. This is the most common reason landlords collect security deposits. The damage caused should be more than normal wear and tear.
  • To cover a loss due to non-payment of rent.
  • If a tenant terminates their lease early. This is a breach of contract. The landlord will use the security deposit to help find a tenant to replace the unit.
  • To cover utilities that were unpaid upon a move-out.
  • To cover the costs of cleaning. Tenants need to leave their rental premises in the same condition they found them when they moved in. Unfortunately, when tenants move out, they don’t do this. The landlord will use the security deposit to restore the property to its original form.

When Should One Expect the Return of the Security Deposit?

Florida renters rights security deposit requires that landlords only have 15 to 60 days after the tenant moves out to return the deposit. This means that once the tenant has returned the keys and vacated the property, the landlord must return their deposit. 

However, this depends on whether the tenant disputes any of the deductions taken out of the security deposit. Landlords in Florida must also provide their tenants with advance notice of all deductions taken from the deposit.

If, after 30 days, the landlord still has not returned your deposit or sent you a letter stating why, you can sue him or her for the entire amount of the deposit. However, you must remember that while your landlord gives up the right to claim your deposit after thirty days have passed, he or she can still sue you for damages done to his/her property.

How an Attorney Can Help

A landlord tenant lawyer can help if you are experiencing security deposit issues. Both landlords and tenants have legal defenses. Landlords can withhold a deposit for good reasons. Tenants can sue a landlord if their deposit is not returned within 30 days and they have not received anything in writing. 

If you are experiencing wrongful withholding of a security deposit, an attorney can help you understand the laws in your state regarding wrongful withholding of a deposit. Your attorney will also let you know the best course of legal action to take. 

A lawyer will represent you in court if needed. With that, if you are a plaintiff, an attorney can help you recover your security deposit along with a reasonable amount of damages suffered. If you are the defendant, a lawyer can help determine whether there are any legal defenses available to you, based on specific facts of the case. 

Call Ferrer Law Group today if you need a landlord tenant lawyer to discuss and settle your case.

Legal Disclaimer: The materials within this website are for informational purposes only. They are not legal advice and should not be used as such. Transmission of the information in this website is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Internet users and readers should not act upon this information and should seek professional legal counsel.