Florida Security Deposit Law

Florida Security Deposit Law

Author: Kasee Godwin
Date: 11.15.2022

Florida Security Deposit Law: Key Provisions and Updates from HB-133 in 2023

Security deposits are a crucial part of rental agreements in Florida, providing landlords with protection against property damage or rent defaults and offering tenants a way to demonstrate their commitment to maintaining the property. 

As Florida’s housing market evolves, so too do the laws governing these deposits, with the passage of HB-133 in 2023 bringing significant changes.

Basics of Florida Security Deposit Law

Maximum Security Deposit

Florida does not limit the amount a landlord can charge as a security deposit.

Return of Security Deposit

Landlords must return the security deposit within 15 days after the tenant leaves the rental property if they do not intend to impose any claim. 

If there are deductions for damages, landlords must provide the tenant with a written notice via certified mail within 30 days outlining the damages and the repair cost.

Tenant’s Right to Object

Previously, tenants had 15 days to dispute any deductions from their security deposit. With the new amendments, they now have a more extended period to challenge these claims.

Updates from HB-133: Security Deposit Alternatives

One of the most notable updates in 2023 from HB-133 is the requirement for landlords to offer alternatives to traditional security deposits. This progressive move aims to make the rental market more accessible and flexible by providing the following options:

  • Surety Bonds: Tenants may have the option to purchase a surety bond that covers damages and unpaid rent up to the amount of the traditional security deposit. This often requires a non-refundable premium but reduces the upfront cost for tenants.
  • Installment-Based Deposits: Rather than paying a lump sum upfront, tenants can pay the security deposit in installments over time, easing the financial burden at the start of the lease.
  • Third-Party Services: Landlords can also permit third-party services that provide deposit coverage or guarantees in exchange for a monthly or one-time fee, again reducing the upfront financial requirement for tenants.

These alternatives lower the entry barriers for tenants, potentially expanding the pool of eligible renters for landlords. They also reflect a growing trend toward flexibility and innovation in the housing market, recognizing the diverse financial situations of renters.

Implications for Landlords and Tenants

Landlords must now adjust their leasing processes to include these alternatives in their rental agreements and educate themselves on managing these non-traditional forms of security deposits. 

On the other hand, tenants should thoroughly evaluate these options and choose the most advantageous arrangement.

The Evolution of Florida Security Deposit Law

The HB-133 bill marks a significant change in Florida security deposit law, signaling a shift toward more inclusive and adaptable rental practices. As Florida’s rental market continues to grow and change, these updates to the law ensure that the system remains fair, competitive, and accessible to a broader range of tenants while still protecting the interests of landlords.

Landlords and tenants are encouraged to seek legal advice or further information on HB-133 to ensure full compliance and to take advantage of the opportunities these new options present.

Disclaimer:

Qira aims to keep this information as up-to-date as possible. The content provided here is informational and should be different from legal counsel. Please refer to the relevant government sources to check for any changes or updates to the law.

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Kasee Godwin

Position: Director of Marketing
Social Networks

Kasee is the Director of Marketing for Qira. She has nearly 15 years of experience in the real estate marketing industry, including 10 years on the client side. In her spare time, she enjoys reading science fiction, exploring new wineries, and fostering Golden Retrievers.

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