Category Archives: Security Deposits


This author addresses two points in this article. First, a recent Florida case acknowledges that landlords have a legal interest in security deposits held under a property management agreement and that misuse of the deposit is actionable by the landlord against the broker. Second, the implications of this decision support this author’s opinion that real […]

Resolving Tenant Damage at Lease Renewal

Managing many properties is challenging and demanding, and as such, requires proper procedures to reduce the risks and results of tenant abuse or misuse of the property. One notable area of risk management is preventing or mitigating a tenant’s damaging the property, and more particularly, to get the tenant to pay for damages to the […]

The Endless Late Fee Cycle: Enforceable or Not?

There is a common legal issue and problem that arises in the residential property management business. It involves situations when a tenant owes a late fee for a given month and pays the base rent for the following months but does not “catch up” with the late fee, which can result in a vicious cycle […]

Security Deposit Claim When Tenant Fails To Give Notice of Vacating

Tenants are entitled to be given notice of the landlord’s intent to make a claim on his security deposit “upon vacating for lease termination,” and the landlord must send such intent by certified mail.  However, this mandate does not apply if the tenant fails to provide the landlord with notice of vacating as provided in FS 83.49(5), which states, Except […]

Security Deposits and the ‘Vacate Date’

Florida Statutes 83.49 requires that the notice sent by the landlord must: 1.  be sent certified mail to the tenant to tenant’s “last known address”; 2.  be sent within 30 days after the tenant vacates the premises; 3.  state the amount of the deposit being withheld by the landlord; 4.  state with specificity the reason […]

Security Deposits: When the Tenant Objects and the Owner Insists

Florida Statutes (FS) 83.49 prescribes the procedures on how to handle security deposits (“deposit”) held pursuant to a rental agreement. You likely know already that you must notify the tenant of where the deposit is held; you may not commingle the deposit with your own funds; you cannot treat the deposit as “liquidated damages” unless […]