If you own rental property in Florida, then under state law, you are required to return your tenant’s security deposit within 15 to 60 days after the tenant has moved out of the unit. Vacating the property includes physically moving out, as well as returning the keys.
If there are certain repairs required that are due to the tenant’s negligence, then a Florida landlord may deduct the cost of these items from the deposit. If this is the case, then you need to provide the tenant(s) with advance notice of such deductions. (It is important to note that normal wear and tear is not considered to be “damage” to a rental property.)
There are other instances where a Florida landlord may also be able to keep some or all of a tenant’s security deposit. These can include:
- When the tenant breaks the lease early. Depending on the actual wording in the lease – and whether you have an early termination clause – you may retain the security deposit.
- Legal fees. If you have to take your tenant to court for a property-related matter, then you may be able to retain some or all of the security deposit in order to cover attorney fees and / or court costs.
- Non-payment of rent. The terms of a lease are considered to be a contractual obligation – so if a tenant breaks his or her obligation by not paying the rent, the landlord may retain a portion (or all) of the security deposit.
Dealing with tenants – as well as the financial responsibilities that come with owning rental property – can be time-consuming. So, if you’d rather delegate these duties, hiring an experienced property manager could be an ideal solution. For more details on how the right property manager can be an asset to your property investment(s), Contact Us today.