One of the most important parts of property management in Fort Lauderdale is the security deposit. Today, we are talking about how a security deposit must be held and returned when you have a rental home in Florida.
Holding Security Deposits: 3 Options
A landlord can keep a security deposit and any advanced rent paid by a tenant in one of three ways. The deposit can be kept in a separate, non-interest bearing account. Or, the funds can be held in a separate interest-bearing account in which the landlord pays the tenant 75 percent of the interest that is earned or five percent of the amount that’s being held. The third option is to post a surety bond with the clerk of the county wherever the property is located for the amount of the security deposit, up to $50,000. You need to remember that the landlord can never co-mingle the tenant’s funds with the operating funds. This is very important.
Returning the Security Deposit
When the lease has ended and the tenant has vacated the property, a landlord must return the security deposit within 15 days of the tenant vacating if the landlord plans to refund the full amount. In this case, that means there are no damages to the property. If there are damages and the landlord plans to deduct the amount of those damages from the security deposit, the landlord has 30 days to return the security deposit to the tenant. Any deposits or balances must be sent to the tenant’s last known address. If they provide you with their new address, send the deposit there. If the tenant did not provide a forwarding address, you’ll need to send the deposit to the property address since it is the last known address for the tenant. Make sure you send it by certified mail, return receipt requested. This way the landlord has proof of mailing and delivery. You’ll know when it was received by the tenant.
If you need Fort Lauderdale property management, or you have any questions about security deposits and advanced rent, please contact us at Florida Property Management Services.