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Florida Laws Regarding Security Deposits Of Residential Tenants

By: Marc Rapaport (Law Offices of Marc A. Rapaport)

Florida law pertaining to the security deposits of residential tenants is set forth in Section 83.49 of the Florida Statutes. Some of the more important provisions relating to security deposits with which all Florida landlords should be familiar are summarized as follows:

  • Holding the Security Deposit:

    The Florida Statutes provides Florida landlords with three principal options:

    1. The landlord may hold the total amount of the security deposit in a separate, non-interest-bearing account in a Florida bank institution for the benefit of the tenant. The landlord may not commingle these funds or make use of them unless and until the funds are actually due the landlord. [Florida Statutes, § 83.49]

    2. The landlord may hold the total amount of the security deposit in a separate, interest-bearing account in a Florida bank institution for the benefit of the tenant. In this situation, the tenant shall receive and collect interest in an amount of at least 75 percent of the annualized average interest rate payable on the account, or interest at a rate of 5 percent per years - whichever the landlord selects. [Florida Statutes, § 83.49]

    3. The landlord may post a surety bond, executed by the landlord as principal and a surety company, with the clerk of the circuit court in the Florida county in which the dwelling unit is located in the total amount of the security deposits and advance rate that the landlord is holding or $50,000.00, whichever is less.

  • Notice to Tenant Regarding Holding of Security:

    Within thirty days of receiving a security deposit or advance rent, the landlord must notify the tenant, in writing, of the manner in which the landlord is holding the deposit. You may download the appropriate notice form on our Florida Lease Forms page.

  • Notice to Tenant Regarding Landlord's Intention to Impose a Claim on the Security Deposit:

    Upon the tenant's vacating of the premises for termination of the lease, the landlord has 15 days to return the security deposit to the tenant, together with interest if otherwise required. If the landlord intends to impose a claim on the security deposit, the landlord must send written notice to the tenant within 30 days. This notice must be by certified mail, to the tenant's last known address.


Florida Landlord Tenant Law