At Rent Me Florida the homeowner (lessor) will hold the tenant’s security deposit in a Florida branch bank. (Unless stated otherwise in the lease.)
The security deposit helps protect you from potential damage, eviction and vacancy costs. It is best practice to require one month’s rent as a security deposit, however, there is no limit to what you can charge.
Florida Security Deposit Law
Security Deposit Rules and Regulation for Residential Leases
It is always a good idea to require a security deposit when renting our your Florida property. The security deposit helps protect you from potential damage, eviction and vacancy costs. It is best practice to require one month’s rent as a security deposit, however there is no limit to what you can charge.
Holding of Tenant Security Deposit
You have three choices of where to store the security deposit.
- Non-Interest Bearing Account: The security deposit can be held in a non-interest bearing bank account in the state of Florida. The landlord must not commingle this money with any other funds or use the money before it is due to them.
- Interest Bearing Account: If the landlord chooses to place the security deposit into an interest bearing Florida bank account, they are required to pay the tenant interest accumulated on the account annually and at the end of the lease term. The interest can be paid directly to the tenant or can be credited back in the form of rent.
The landlord must not commingle the money or use prior to it actually being due them. Also, if the tenant breaks their lease, no interest is due.
- Surety Bond:The landlord can post a surety bond for the amount of the security deposit, or $50,000, whichever is less. The landlord must also pay the tenant five percent interest annually on the bond.
Florida Security Deposit Rules
When your tenant gives notice be sure to know the Florida rules for handling their security deposit.
If you plan on returning the full security deposit:
You have 15 days to return the security deposit along with any interest earned.
If you plan on keeping any portion of the security deposit:
You must notify your tenant in writing within 30 days of the lease end that you intend on keeping all or any portion of their deposit.
- Send the notice to the address you have on file for the tenant via certified mail. It is the tenant’s responsibility to provide you with their forwarding address. If they do not, you as landlord are not required to provide written notice.
- List the reasons why you intend to keep all or a portion of the security deposit.
- Inform the tenant they have 15 days to contest this letter, but it must be in writing.
If you do not inform the tenant within 30 days, then you automatically forfeit your right to keep any portion of the security deposit.
- If the tenant does NOT object to your claim, then you can deduct the amount you claimed. But, you must return the remainder to the tenant within 30 days of the initial notice.
- If the tenant DOES object, this matter could go to court. The winning party will be entitle to the court awarded sum, plus court costs and attorney fees.
Landlord Security Deposit Notice of Intention to Impose a Claim
As a landlord you may at some point need to impose a claim on a tenant’s security deposit. Be sure that you review the Florida Security Deposit Rules.
You may download a letter to send to you tenant here:
Note.—Former s. 83.261.