While the state of Florida does not limit how much a property manager can charge for an application fee or what the security deposit property owners can collect, there are clearly outlined regulations regarding what the security deposit can be used for, how it must be held, and when it must be returned. Continue reading below to learn more about security deposit regulations in the state of Florida.
Is there a limit on how much the property manager/owner can charge for an application fee? If so, what is that amount?
No. There is no limit to the application fee amount the property managers in the state of Florida can charge.
What is the security deposit amount the landlord can collect?
In the state of Florida, there is no limit to the security deposit amount that a landlord can collect from renters.
Can the property manager/owner collect a fee for pets?
A pet deposit separate from the apartment security deposit is allowed in the state of Florida. Service pets are an exemption, and disabled persons with service pets do not have to pay an additional security deposit. However, if a service dog causes damages, the resident is still liable for expenses incurred.
How does the security deposit need to be held?
Property managers in the state of Florida have several options regarding how they can hold security deposits. Property owners can choose to place the security deposit in a non-interest bearing account that cannot be used for anything save security deposits. Property owners can also choose to place the security deposit in an interest-bearing account. Security deposits placed in interest bearing accounts entitle the renter to 75% of the interest or 5% simple interest per year. The last option for property managers is to post a security bond for which the renter is eligible for 5% simple annual interest on the security deposit. in the event that the property owner chooses to hold the security deposit if the property owner has five or more properties in the state of Florida, they must provide the renter with written notice of how and where the security deposit is held.
Is the property manager/owner required to tell the resident where the deposit is held?
Yes. Property owners in the state of Florida must provide renters with written notice regarding where their security deposit is held in the event that they have five or more properties in the state. Written notice must be given in person or by mail.
Is the property manager/owner required to tell the resident what the interest rate on the account is (if applicable)?
No. Property managers in the state of Florida do not have to tell renters what the interest rate on the account is, if applicable, however, they must pay the renter a simple annual interest on the amount of the deposit and the end of the lease or 75% of the interest earned from the bank.
What can the property manager/owner deduct from the security deposit?
Property owners in the state of Florida can use the security deposit to cover unpaid rent, damages caused by the renter in excess of normal wear and tear, other damages caused by breach of lease, or for charges allowable to be deducted under the lease.
How long does the property manager/owner have to return the security deposit after the lease has ended?
In the state of Florida, property owners have 15 days to return the security deposit to the renters in the event that there were no deductions. In the event that there are deductions, the property owner must provide an itemized list of deductions within 30 days via written notice.
What penalties does the property manager/owner face if they do not return the security deposit on time?
If a property manager in Florida does not return the security deposit within 15 days, or 30 days in the event that there are deductions, the property owner forfeits their right to charge the leaving renter any part of the security deposit. If a property owner does not return the security deposit on time, the renter may sue the property owner. If the renter wins the case, they will be eligible to receive from the property owner the costs of the lawsuit and reasonable attorney fees alongside their security deposit.
What is the process for the property manager/owner to claim the security deposit funds?
Property managers must provide vacating residents with an itemized list of deductions within 30 days of vacating the property.
Is the resident allowed to apply their security deposit towards the last month’s rent?
According to Florida law, renters cannot choose to use the security deposit in place of their last months’ rent, unless the property manager/owner agrees to it in writing.
To summarize, property owners in Florida have clear legislation regarding how to manage security deposits for their properties. To protect themselves in the event of damages to their property, property owners in Florida should keep accurate records of damages that exceed normal wear and tear to their properties.
Disclaimer & Sources:
Qira aims to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. The content provided here is for informational purposes and should not replace legal counsel. Please refer to the relevant government sources to check for any changes or updates to the law.