Florida Statute 83.49 governs the way in which a Landlord may impose a claim on the security deposit. Upon the Tenant’s vacating of the premises for termination of the lease, if the Landlord intends to impose a claim on the Security Deposit, the Landlord has 30 days to give the Tenant written Notice by certified mail to the Tenant’s last known mailing address notifying the Tenant of the Landlord’s intention to impose a claim on the deposit. Cases can be won or lost based on photos and other evidence that show the condition of the property upon the lease commencement and lease maturity dates. So always take photos of the unit at the lease commencement and lease maturity dates. Florida Statute 83.49 provides attorney's fees and court costs to the prevailing party for Security Deposit cases that end up in Court. This law helps provide Tenants the ability to file a case against the landlord without being overly concerned about how to recover fees and costs. So if you are a Miami tenant and you believe that your security deposit was wrongfully withheld and you want to discuss your Miami security deposit dispute, please call us for a consultation so that we can try to help you recover your security deposit.
Security Deposit Litigation often takes place in Small Claims Court as it usually involves less than $5,000. The Plaintiff, in Small Claims Court has to file a Complaint called a Statement of Claim and plead the facts that support the demand for the return of the Security Deposit. The Plaintiff/Tenant also has to hire a process server to serve the Statement of Claim and Summons on the Defendant/Landlord. Then the Court schedules a Pre-Trial Conference and a Mediation. If the Mediation does not resolve the dispute, the Court will set a Trial Date.
We have experience in representing Tenants in their efforts to try to recover the security deposit and also have experience defending Landlords that have been sued by Tenants for the security deposit.
If the Tenant/Plaintiff wins a Final Judgment against the Landlord/Defendant and the Defendant fails to return the security deposit to the Plaintiff, then the Plaintiff has to try to collect. The collection process usually entails the perfecting of the Final Judgment Lien by recording a certified copy of the Final Judgment in the County Recorder's office and/or by garnishing the Defendant's Bank Account. The collection process may also entail a Fact Information Sheet request to the Debtor/Post Judgment Defendant wherein the Debtor must answer his/her/its financial information in the Fact Information Sheet and return same to the Creditor/Post Judgment Creditor.