What to do if we received a letter in the mail informing us that our landlord is keeping our security deposit and charging us another $1250?

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What to do if we received a letter in the mail informing us that our landlord is keeping our security deposit and charging us another $1250?

Do we have to pay that amount or can we dispute it?

Asked on January 2, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can certainly dispute it. A landlord is only allowed to keep a security deposit (or seek additional money from tenants) to the extent that 1) it is necessary to pay for damage (beyond normal wear and tear) which the tenant (or his/her family, guests, pets, etc.) caused; or 2) the tenant moved out owing rent. If you feel the landlord has withheld more than he/she is entitled  to from your security deposit, you could sue (such as in small claims court) for the deposit's return; or if you willing to let him/her have the deposit but not to pay more, you could refuse to pay and force him/her to sue you, at which time you could challenge that you owe more money. To win, he/she would have to prove the damages or the unpaid rent.


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