When Should You Return a Former Tenant's Security Deposit?If you’ve owned rental property for any length of time, then you know that having tenants move in and out is usually a constant. When a tenant vacates a property, they will typically want to know when – or if – they will be receiving their security deposit back. That’s because these funds are oftentimes needed to put towards their next residence.

All states have certain regulations with regard to the amount of security deposit that can be charged up-front, as well as when it is required to either return these funds to a tenant, or provide them with the details of why it will not be returned.

For example, in the state of Florida, if you will be returning the full amount of the security deposit, you must do so within 15 days of the tenant vacating the property. If, however, you will be withholding a certain amount from the security deposit, then you must return the remainder of these funds within 30 days.

In the event that there is damage to the property (and therefore, money held back from the security deposit), it is also required that you send notice to the tenant. In doing so, you will have 30 days to provide the tenant with the reason(s) why a certain amount (or all) of the deposit is being withheld.

According to Florida statute 83.49, the notice must be provided using the following words:

“This is a notice of my intention to impose a claim for damages in the amount of $_____ upon your security deposit, due to __________. It is sent to you as required by s. 83.49(3), Florida Statutes. You are hereby notified that you must object in writing to this deduction from your security deposit within 15 days from the time you receive this notice or I will be authorized to deduct my claim from your security deposit. Your objection must be sent to: <landlord’s address>.”

If you’d rather leave the tenant management and the property maintenance to someone else, it can be helpful to work in conjunction with an experienced property manager. If you have property in Orlando or the surrounding vicinity, Contact Us for more information.