According to the tenant-landlord laws in Florida, a landlord is only allowed to make deductions on the security deposit if there is unpaid rent or damages on the rental property that are beyond the typical wear and tear. If there are deductions to be made on the security deposit, the landlord has 30 days to send an itemized list of deductions from the time the tenant moves out.
Damages resulting from regular usage of the rental property are not the responsibility of the tenant and therefore must not be deducted from the security deposit. Issues such as curtains fading due to exposure to the sun, carpet wearing out due to normal foot traffic and paint peeling off are considered regular wear and tear and shouldn’t stop the tenant from getting their full refund. The landlord can only make deductions on substantial damages such as big holes on the walls, broken wall mirrors or broken furniture.
Should you feel that the landlord is making irrelevant deductions on the security deposit where they are not necessary, you have the option of filing a case in court to claim back the withheld amount. However, it is usually best to send a letter to the landlord to let them know of your concerns over the deduction disputes. In your letter, you should first acknowledge receiving the itemized list of deductions and then go ahead to let them know why you are disputing on the deductions they made on your security deposit. Always make sure to do this through writing so as to document everything for future references. Having photos showing the rental premise including the areas causing dispute is also crucial in case the matter ends up in court.
This Damages Claim Dispute Letter clearly highlights the legal deductions according to the Florida state laws and serves as a warning to the landlord if they falsely withhold the security deposit against the law.
A professionally written letter like this is usually all that it takes to resolve damage disputes and get back your rightful security deposit. Send the letter through certified mail to guarantee its delivery and be sure keep your own copy.