Fla. Stat. 84.49(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.
As the statute requires, when a tenant moves out of your property, if you intend to make a claim on their security deposit you have only a limited time to do so properly. Failure to properly send out a notice of claim on security deposit may result in a suit by the tenant to recover their deposit. The risk to a landlord for failing to provide the proper notice may result in the landlord being forced to turn over the deposit regardless of landlord’s damages for unpaid rent or damage to the premises. Additionally, tenants who hire an attorney to dispute the landlord’s claim on a security deposit may be awarded their attorney’s fees and costs resulting in potentially large losses to the landlord.
There are specific methods for delivery of the notice as well as rules regarding whether or not your tenant has provided you a forwarding address. You should review Chapter 83 carefully to make sure you are using the best practices. The Law Offices of Oates & Oates, P.A. is a full service civil and business litigation firm which also handles all landlord tenant and real estate matters.