Statute of Limitations on Landlord Tenant Security Deposit Disputes

Security Deposit

What is a Security Deposit?

A security deposit is a refundable fee that a new resident gives to their landlord in addition to advance rent payment. The security deposit is essentially an insurance on the property in the event that the tenant causes any damages made by the tenant that exceeds ordinary wear and tear. A landlord may use some or all of the security deposit to cover:

  • Unpaid rent;
  • Unpaid utility charges or other lease or financial obligations;
  • Repairing damages caused by the tenant, his or her guests, or pets that exceed ordinary wear and tear;
  • Cost of undoing any changes made by the tenant.

When must a Landlord Return a Security Deposit After a Lease is terminated?

In Florida, a landlord is required to return any security deposit made by the tenant within 15 days of termination of the lease unless the landlord intend to make a claim on the security deposit.

How Long May a Landlord Withhold a Security Deposit if he/she Intends to Impose a Claim in Florida?

If a landlord intends to make a claim on a tenant’s security deposit, then the landlord must notify the tenant within 30 days of lease termination. If a tenant disputes the claim for the security deposit, then the landlord must hold the security deposit until the dispute is over. A landlord can potentially withhold a security deposit for up to 60 days.

What Happens if a Landlord Does Not Return a Tenant’s Security Deposit in Florida?

Once a dispute over the security deposit is resolved, the landlord is required to return any remaining balance of the security deposit to the tenant. If, however, the landlord does not return the portion of the security deposit a tenant is owed, then the tenant can make a demand for the payment. If such demand is not complied with, the tenant may sue for the remaining balance of the security deposit and attorneys’ fees and costs.

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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Eric Gros-Dubois

Eric P. Gros-Dubois founded EPGD Business Law in 2013 and is the current head of the firm’s corporate, estate planning, and tax practice, and manages the firm’s Washington D.C. office. With a JD and MBA, and a specialization in finance, Eric is able to step back and view the legal world through a commercial lens while also acting as a trusted business advisor for his clients. He does his best to be solutions oriented, and tries to think like a business owner, not just a lawyer.


*The following comments are not intended to be treated as legal advice. The answer to your question is limited to the basic facts presented. Additional details may heavily alter our assessment and change the answer provided. For a more thorough review of your question please contact our office for a consultation.

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