What Does Florida Landlord-Tenant Laws State Regarding Security Deposit

What Flordia Landlord-Tenant Laws Say About Security Deposit

 rules and regulations are governed by the state. A landlord who requires a security deposit must follow the laws of the municipality in which the property resides.

There are restrictions regarding repairs, eviction, and legal recourse. For instance, a landlord in Florida can ask for an additional pet security deposit to cover extra cleaning costs.

It is essential to understand your renters' rights before signing a lease. DoNotPay can help you interpret  so that you know what to expect when renting.

Dealing with an uncooperative landlord can be a frustrating experience. DoNotPay can eliminate stress and get you fast results. Your home is your sanctuary and no one, even the landlord, has a right to disrupt the peaceful possession of your property.

What is a Security Deposit?

In Florida, a landlord can ask for a security deposit to cover:

  1. The cost to repair damage to the rental unit, beyond normal wear and tear
  2. Unpaid rent if a tenant breaks the lease early
  3. Costs and legal fees incurred due to a breach of contract
  4. Additional charges agreed to under the lease terms, such as an early termination fee

The money collected should be held in a separate account and returned to the tenant when they vacate the property. According to state law, the landlord may not use the funds for any other reason. If the money is placed in an interest-bearing account, the tenant must receive 5% simple annual interest when the security deposit is returned.

How Long Does a Landlord Have to Return a Security Deposit in Florida?

Many people wonder, under Florida law, how many days a landlord has to itemize a deposit. Once a tenant vacates the property, a landlord must account for deposits within 15 days.

If the landlord intends to retain a portion of the security deposit, they must provide the tenant with a written notice in no more than 30 days. If the tenant does not receive a notice via certified mail, the landlord forfeits the right to keep any money.

While there are no specific penalties in place for Florida landlord-tenant security deposit disputes, a renter can sue a landlord for failure to comply.

How Many Days Does a Landlord Have to Dispute a Security Deposit Claim in Florida?

The bottom line is everyone just wants to know how long does a landlord have to return the deposit.

If a tenant receives written notice that deductions will be taken from their security deposit, they can send a letter to landlord disputing damage claims. It is often difficult to figure out how to get security deposit back from landlord.

Our DoNotPay customers frequently ask what to do when a Florida landlord sent check but they want to dispute charges. Another question we have heard is, "How long does my landlord have to reply to my security deposit dispute letter in Florida?

In Florida, landlord tenant security deposit disputes, 15 days is the normal turn-around time. According to landlord tenant Florida disputing itemized list is allowed.

What Happens With My Security Deposit in Florida if the Landlord Sells the Property Mid Lease?

Another common concern that renters share is, "can a landlord evict me without notice?"

If a Florida landlord decides to sell the rental property, the buyer is obligated to refund the security deposit to the tenant at the end of the lease. The original landlord is not relieved of his responsibility to the tenant until the money is transferred to the new property owner.

How to Dispute Florida Landlord Intent to Retain Security Deposit

While most landlords are on the up and up, there are always a few unscrupulous individuals who make it difficult to rent property in Florida. There are several reasons :

Florida Landlord Tenant Law Security Deposit EvictionIf a tenant is evicted for any reason, the landlord has a right to retain the security deposit. The money collected will pay for any unpaid rent along with the cost of repairs for damages.
Florida Commercial Lease Apply Security Deposit Towards RentFlorida statutes do not differentiate between residential and commercial leases regarding the retention of security deposits. The lease dictates the agreement between both parties.

In the instance of a commercial lease, both entities may agree to apply the collected security deposit towards the remaining rent at the end of the leasing term.

Damages to Rental PropertyA landlord is responsible for repairs to a rental property, within reason. If a tenant causes damage or neglects the rental unit, they may be charged for the cost of repairs. Examples of damage may include:

  • Destruction of mirrors, windows, or tiles
  • Holes in the wall
  • Neglectful use of appliances
  • Excessive stains, tears, or holes in carpeting and/or flooring
  • Pet odor, urine stains, scratch marks

Upon moving out, a landlord will do a walkthrough to inspect the rental property. All damages should be taken care of beforehand to avoid losing a portion of the security deposit. The tenant will receive an itemized list of all issues and the cost associated with the repairs.

How to Request Florida Landlord Tenant Laws Security Deposit On Your Own

For a prompt return of the security deposit, a tenant must provide the landlord with a mail forwarding address.

As a renter, if you do not get a response from the landlord within 30 days, you can file a case in Florida small claims court.

If you receive a written notice from the landlord that they are withholding money from the security deposit, you can dispute the charges, in writing, within 15 days of receipt of the notice. You will need to provide sufficient evidence, such as photographs, that you did not cause the damage in question.

Fortunately, DoNotPay offers an alternative that is easy to use and eliminates the hassle of tackling the issue on your own.

How to Get Your Security Deposit Back With the Help of DoNotPay

Dealing with a landlord is often difficult and can be confusing when adhering to the timelines regulating the return of security deposits. Unanswered letters and phone calls can leave you feeling helpless, but DoNotPay can make it easier for you.

DoNotPay offers the perfect solution for  resolutions. We can send a demand letter on your behalf and handle all the necessary paperwork, eliminating tedious forms and time-consuming attempts to contact your landlord.

The DoNotPay Landlord Protection product offers a multitude of benefits, including:

  • Helping you understand Florida eviction laws
  • Showing you how to resolve repair disputes
  • Filing a demand letter to get a roommate out of your rental unit
  • Moving out of the rental property before the lease expires

How to break a lease using DoNotPay:

If you want to break a lease, but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 4 easy steps:

  1. Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay.


  2. Select which issue applies to you.


  3. Answer a simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter.


  4. Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.


There is nothing left for you to do but wait to hear back from your landlord. There is no need for court cases, legal fees, or time-wasting hurdles to jump. DoNotPay takes care of it all!

Why Use DoNotPay for Florida Landlord Tenant Laws Security Deposit Disputes?

DoNotPay is:

  • Fast – After answering a few simple questions, your request will be handled with the utmost efficiency.
  • Easy – The easy-to-understand prompts to guide you every step of the way.
  • Successful – You can rest assured knowing your landlord has been contacted on your behalf.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

In addition to helping you with  disputes, DoNotPay can make handling the most difficult tasks seem simple. The automated system is available 24/7, and from the convenience of your laptop, you can get assistance with:

DoNotPay is like having a personal customer service agent at your disposal around the clock. The automated system can help you solve any task you throw at it, ensuring that you receive the help you need when you need it.

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