Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What is security deposit and how do I get it back?

Under Florida Statutes 83 Sec 49, Security Deposit is money deposited or advanced by a tenant on a rental agreement as security for performance of the rental agreement or as advance rent for other than the next immediate rental period. That is to say, A security deposit is any refundable money which the tenant gives to the landlord as a security against damage to the rental premises or advance rent. A security deposit may be called a damage deposit, last month's rent, a pet deposit or by some other name. 
A landlord is required to give you notice of his intention to keep all or part of your security deposit and the reason why he's entitled to it. The landlord has to send you the notice in 
writing by certified mail within 30 days of the day you move out or else he gives up the right to keep any of the deposit. To protect your rights you should:

(a) Send a certified letter to the landlord that he receives at least seven (7) days before you leave, 
stating the date you intend to leave and your forwarding address, so he will know where to mail your deposit. 
(b) You must also give enough notice to end your tenancy. Your lease usually spell out how many days prior to your moving you must issue notice to landlord and in what form. In case the lease does not provide terms with respect to notice, Florida Statutes will apply. For example, if you rent month to month, you must give your landlord fifteen (15) days written notice; if your rent 
week to week, seven (7) days written notice. But you should also send the landlord the above seven (7) day notice, to preserve your rights regarding the security deposit. Keep a copy of both letters and return receipts in case you go to court later. 
If you oblige all these legal requirements and the landlord refuse to return the deposit check, you may sue him or her in a county court.