When a tenant is evicted from their place of residence, there is often a lot of tension between the landlord and the renter. Evictions happen for a variety of reasons, ranging from breaking the terms of the lease to failing to pay the rent; but the laws for how the security deposit should be handled remain the same.
Laws are in place that prevent landlords from simply calling the authorities to remove a tenant, or changing the locks when an eviction has occurred. These laws don’t just protect tenants during the moving process, they also protect their security deposit. According to Florida law, landlords must return your security deposit within 15 days of the lease ending, and follow a strict set of laws if they intend to keep the deposit.
If you have been evicted from your home, or are a landlord going through the process of evicting a tenant, you may be wondering what will happen to the security deposit. This deposit is a sum of money paid to the landlord in advance, in case of damage to the property and to ensure future rent payments.
If the property is damaged or the renter has not been on time with payments, the landlord may decide to keep some or all of the deposit as payment. If this is the case, the landlord must notify the renter in order to do so.
Laws vary from state to state, but in general the landlord must:
If the landlord fails to provide a notice of intent to retain the security deposit after the renter has been evicted, they must return the security deposit. They can however, file an action for damages after the return of the deposit, if there were damages done to the property. If the renter fails to receive their security deposit back and was not notified, they can take the landlord to small claims court for double the original security deposit.
Whether you are the renter or the landlord, knowing your rights as it pertains to the security deposit is important. You may need to take action right away in order to save the security deposit. If you’re not certain of your rights, contacting an attorney may be the right course of action.