Security Deposit Claim? Not so fast!

Property Manager with AmeriTeam Property Management SL#3200658

Security Deposit Claim?  Not so fast!

Security Deposit Claim?  Not so fast!


Florida Statutes are pretty specific and explicit with regard to security deposits (as they should be, in my humble yet accurate opinion), requirements for the return of funds once tenants have vacated, etc.  From Florida Statutes 83.49 (3):


(a) 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 shall have 15 days to return the security deposit together with interest if otherwise required, or 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.  The notice shall contain a statement in substantially the following form:

This is a notice of my intention to impose a claim for damages in the amount of _______ upon your security deposit, due to _______.  It is sent to you as required by s. 83.49(3), Florida Statutes.  You are hereby notified that you must object in writing to this deduction from your security deposit within 15 days from the time you receive this notice or I will be authorized to deduct my claim from your security deposit. Your objection must be sent to (landlord’s address).


Knowing the strict rules- which also provide that a landlord loses rights to any claim for failing to give proper notice, there's surely a sense of urgency when it comes to getting keys from tenants right away, performing move-out inspections immediately and getting estimates for make-ready repairs, if needed.


The age-old "haste makes waste" premise can come into play, though- and property managers should take note of the tips included here which speak to a few items/circumstances that might not be readily apparent during a move-out inspection right after a tenant leaves:


It's important to remain vigilant and prompt, but it's equally important to "let the dust (and odors) settle" as the article mentions.  I'd also add another point:  stay up to speed on the status of utilities and the recently departed tenant's account status as best you can.


Each utility company is a bit different- some will simply allow any charges left unpaid at move-out to follow the tenant wherever they go, yet others may require that a landlord pay any outstanding balances accrued at a property before the next tenant can initiate service.  If at all possible, ensure that those bills are paid before you return funds to a tenant which otherwise would've gone to pay those utility bills!


Security Deposit Claim?  Not so fast!


Posted by
Property Manager

Licensed Florida Realtor
AmeriTeam Property Management
845 N. Garland Ave., #200
Orlando, FL  32801
205-445-4755 cell/direct
407-901-3636 x103 office
407-901-5147 office fax
Turning vacant into occupied, and "houses" into "homes"SM

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Dennis Burgess

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