Can a landlord impose a claim ona security depositafter it has been refunded in full?

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Can a landlord impose a claim ona security depositafter it has been refunded in full?

We vacated our rental and received a full refund of our security deposit. Then, 2 weeks later, we received a settlement statement for the cost of re-renting, professional cleaning, processing fee, and fee to turn utilities back on. Can they do this? Must we pay?

Asked on November 29, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is quite odd that the landlord returned the security deposit and then made the claim afterwards.  It makes me think that the money was returned in error.  A landlord in Florida has 30 days to notify a tenant of their intent to impose a claim on the security deposit.  I think that according to the time frame you have laid out it was done, correct?  The landlord can deduct for anything that is in excess of "normal wear and tear."  When you say that you "vacated" your rental, did you do so with proper notice and at the end of the term?  If not then landlords have the right to hold security deposits for abandoned rentals.  In reviewing the law in Florida I can not find an exception for the issues raised in the notice from the landlord for re-renting, processing fee and utilities.  If the home was left in need of a cleaning that may be permitted.  I would seek help from an attorney in your area.  Good luck.  


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