Handling tenants’ security deposits

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2021 | residential leasing | 0 comments

Owning and renting residential properties in Florida presents a good opportunity for you to grow your investment portfolio. Yet acting as a residential landlord comes with certain risks, chief of which is trusting your property to parties with whom you may not be familiar with personally.

Your security against this risk is a tenant’s security deposit. At the conclusion of your lease, you then must decide whether circumstances merit you retaining all or a portion of that deposit. Many come to us here to Conroy, Conroy & Durant, P.A. believing that they can do so at their own discretion. Yet Florida state law does indeed mandate you follow certain guidelines in this regard.

Keeping a tenant’s security deposit

First and foremost, you should understand the scenarios that justify you keeping your tenant’s deposit. While the exact details of each unique situation vary, these generally include:

  • When damage occurs to the property due to the tenant’s actions or neglect
  • When a tenant misses rent payments during their tenancy
  • If there are outstanding utility costs against the property
  • If the tenant chooses to end their lease before it comes to term

Additionally, you may use funds from your tenant’s security deposit to cover the costs of cleaning a property once they vacate it.

Returning a deposit to a tenant

If you have no cause to retain a tenant’s deposit, then Section 83.49 of Florida’s state statutes requires that you return it within 15 days of the termination of their lease. If you store their deposit in an interest-earning account during the tenant’s occupancy of the property, you must give them at least 75% of the interest earned on the deposit.

You can find more information on properly dealing with security deposits by continuing to explore our site.