If you are a residential landlord in Florida, you know that a paying tenant is money in the bank. However, a detailed set of statutes applies to your relationship with your tenant and there are several sticky areas that often get landlords in trouble. Here are five laws applicable to landlords that cause the most problems. Read on for how to avoid them when leasing your own property.
1. If you obtain a security deposit or advance rent, you must keep the funds in an account separate from your own. The account can be non-interest or interest bearing, but speak with your attorney regarding this decision as there are different requirements for each account. Within 30 days of receiving the rent or security deposit, you must notify the tenant in writing with the details of how you are holding the money.
2. Return your tenant’s security deposit within 15 days of them vacating the premises. If you are going to make a claim on the security deposit, you have thirty days to give written notice to the tenant that you are imposing a claim and the reason. The tenant must object within 15 days of when they receive the notice; if they do not object, you can deduct the appropriate amount and return the balance to them.
3. If your tenant abandons the property, that does not mean you automatically get to keep the security deposit. The tenant may still make a claim against it, although you are relieved of the notice requirements explained in paragraph 2.