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When you rent an apartment or house in Florida, a landlord will usually ask you to pay a deposit. The deposit may be for the same amount as a month’s rent or it could be more or less. This deposit is generally a way for the landlord to protect him or herself. The law is very specific about rental deposits, including what a landlord can do with them.

The Florida Statutes states than any deposit you pay to a landlord must be held separate from other funds. In other words, the landlord cannot use the money for anything. It must sit in an account until you vacate the rental property. At that time, your landlord may make a claim against all or part of the deposit or return it in full to you.

When you leave the rental property, the landlord must provide you with a written notice if he or she wishes to make a claim for any portion of the deposit. This must explain why there is a deduction. It must also give you the opportunity to object. You will have 15 days to do so.

After you leave a property, the landlord has either 30 days to give you written notice of a claim or 15 days to give you the deposit back in full. If you do not hear from your landlord within 30 days, then he or she must give you back the full deposit and cannot make any claim against it. This information is for education and is not legal advice.