If a landlord makes a claim on their former tenants security deposit, do they have to notify the tenant prior to making the deductions?

UPDATED: Oct 20, 2011

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If a landlord makes a claim on their former tenants security deposit, do they have to notify the tenant prior to making the deductions?

I moved out 7 weeks ago. I didn’t receive any portion of my security deposit until 2 days ago however the check is dated for 5 weeks ago and the original postmark date was for several days later. However, it was returned to sender. Also, the condo deducted $980 from the $1579 without notifying me for carpet damages that were there prior to me moving in, They say they don’t have the walk-through form where I notated the damaged carpet.

Asked on October 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, the landlord is required to return a former tenant's security deposit within a certain period of time, usually within 21 to 45 days of move out. If the amount is not returned in full in this time period, the landlord still must set forth what amount was not retutned, what it was used for and provide receipts for what the portion of the security deposit that was not returned to the former tenant.

If you dispute the deducted charges from your security deposit, you need to immediately write your former landlord setting forth your position keeping a copy of the letter for future reference. I would demand the return of the used security deposit within a stated time period. If not returned, your option is a small claims court action.

Good luck.


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