Can I apply security deposit towards back rent due plus damages and bill final amount due on the Impose Claim on Security Deposit Letter (Florida)?

tenant broke the lease one month before it expires. Only gave me 6day notice via email that she’s moving out. Owes me past month’s rent (+ late fee), did not give a forwarding address and damages the apartment. Also was not corporative with my agent to help me market the apt for rent. Do I have grounds to keep the sec. deposit, apply it against the damages (est. $800) + Back Rent and Late Fees? The back rent, can I also go after the reminader month? Can I sum those up in my intention to impose a claim on sec dep and can I use a Collection Agency to help me collect? Thank you

Asked on June 16, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Florida


J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am a lawyer in CT and practice in this area.  I suggest hiring a lawyer to start a simple collection action.  You will first however, need to know where the teant lives.  I suggest waiting a few months and doing a search.  If the tenant has a car, you can call the tax assessor and find out the place where the tax bill goes and then you will know where the person lives.  As far as keeping the deposit, you are permitted to keep the deposit if the tenant damages the apartment.  I suggest itemizing the damages and using the security deposit to pay for them.  Does the lease say you can use the security deposit to satisfy back rent?  I would nevertheless, use the security deposit to fix up the place and make sure to have it itemized.  a lawyer will be more effective than the collection agency.  Sue the tenant for back rent, and everything else.  If you are within the small claims limit, i would file there to avoid the cost of a lawyer/collection agency.

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