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What if your landlord doesn’t return your security deposit?

It is a common practice for landlords in Miami to require their renters to pay a security deposit as a condition of rental. If you are renting, your security deposit will be used to safeguard the landlord’s financial interests related to your living in the residence. Upon moving out, you have the right to receive your security deposit back, provided you follow the rules of your lease.

According to The Florida Legislature, your landlord may legally keep all or a portion of your security deposit for any of the following reasons:

  • Your failure to thoroughly clean the residence before moving out
  • Any damage you caused while living on the property
  • Willfully violating the lease, such as having pets when pets are prohibited
  • Leaving the property without giving adequate notice

However, there have been cases when an unscrupulous landlord refused to reimburse a renter’s security deposit despite all the requirements having been met. Sometimes this happens by an oversight on the landlord’s part, while at other times the landlord might be hoping to get away with keeping the money. One way to increase your chances of receiving your security deposit back is to conduct a walkthrough with your landlord before you move out. In this way, you can ensure the landlord is satisfied with your cleaning and treatment of the unit, as well as address any issues. Getting an agreement in writing is a wise move in case your landlord tries to back out of it later. If you still are unable to get your deposit back, legal action may be your next choice. This information, however, should not substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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