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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 34850
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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Last year in May, my 18 yr old daughter moved out of a rental

Customer Question

Last year in May, my 18 yr old daughter moved out of a rental in Tampa, FL subletting to a new person with the permission of the owner. The please was up in August, in September, the landlord sent pictures of damages and refused to return her security deposit. Furthermore he sent a certified letter to an incorrect address on September 18th which was returned to him as undeliverable 7 days later.
During that time I called the and emailed leasing agent requesting return of the security deposit to her/our home address in Connecticut.
He never returned my call, nor sent the itemized lust of deductions. i was a co-sign or on the lease and dealt with him personally when there was a previous issue with a broken door that I--not my daughter paid for.
The other day I sent a certified letter to the owner and they then emailed my the itemization with pictures that had no time stamp and which were obviously taken after my daughter had moved out.
The claim that they did not have to send it to me and don't seem like they will be sending the money.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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From a purely legal perspective, they only have to try to send the itemized list of damages to the tenant, not the co-signer, and must do so within 30 days of the date that the tenancy ends.
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When daughter subleased the property, she is still legally responsible for the apartment until her fixed term lease ends and possession is returned to the landlord. The subtenant is responsible to her and if they caused damages after daughter moved out that she was charged for, then her recourse is to sue the subtenant for anything she had to pay.
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If daughter feels that she was improperly charged for damages, then her recourse is to file suit against the landlord for breach of contract in small claims court and force him to prove his damages in court.
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well, how familiar are you with Florida law. I think the statute says they have 15 days to return the money or 60 days to send the itemization so. I called during that time period requesting the money but they did not respond. Neither did they do a walk through with my daughter when she moved out. When there were other damages I paid for them immediately, so it seems unfair. They also should have taken money out of the rent to pay for the current damages which is what I did previously.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.
Well, how familiar are you with Florida law. I think the statute says they have 15 days to return the money or 60 days to send the itemization so.
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Very familiar. And the statute actually states that the landlord has 15 days to return the deposit if there are no claims against it, 30 days to send an itemized list of damages and an intent to impose a claim if there are damages, and then the tenant can dispute the deduction within 15 days of receiving the notice and itemization. Then if the tenant doesn't dispute the deductions, the landlord has to refund any balance within 30 days of the notice. This is the exact statute for your reference..
FL Statutes 83.49
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If the landlord fails to give the required notice within the 30-day period, he or she forfeits the right to impose a claim upon the security deposit and may not seek a setoff against the deposit but may file an action for damages after return of the deposit.
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(b) Unless the tenant objects to the imposition of the landlord’s claim or the amount thereof within 15 days after receipt of the landlord’s notice of intention to impose a claim, the landlord may then deduct the amount of his or her claim and shall remit the balance of the deposit to the tenant within 30 days after the date of the notice of intention to impose a claim for damages. The failure of the tenant to make a timely objection does not waive any rights of the tenant to seek damages in a separate action.
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"" I called during that time period requesting the money but they did not respond.""
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You are not the tenant, so they have no duty to respond to you. The tenant is your daughter so they only have a legal duty to communicate with her. Your role as a co-signer only makes you liable in the event she defaults on the lease in some way. It doesn't give you legal standing as a tenant on the lease.
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I sense that you are upset with the answer that I have provided, but I have no control over how a situation turns out. I simply evaluate the scenario based on your comments and information and let you know how a judge would apply the law. I don't have any stake and don't have a preference as to which side wins...I just relate how something will likely turn out.
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not upset at all, just trying to understand as there are usually peripheral issues that sometimes can change the opinion. Issues like proving the damages occurred before the renewal of the lease. The landlord should have should have required a new security deposit from the tenant that was formerly the subleter . if the damages occurred after that then they should take the damages out of the other security deposit and not my daughter's. The letter was written after the lease termination and sent later so whose responsibility for proving when the pictures were taken. They rightly should have been taken in August at the termination of the lease.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.
""Issues like proving the damages occurred before the renewal of the lease. The landlord should have should have required a new security deposit from the tenant that was formerly the subleter . if the damages occurred after that then they should take the damages out of the other security deposit and not my daughter's.""
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Maybe I am not clear on the chronology here....Daughter entered into a fixed term lease that ended in August..
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She moved out early in May and subleased to someone else. This makes her a landlord to the subtenant as well as still being the primary tenant obligated to the property owner.
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The subtenant continued on until August and may have caused some damage to the property.
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If all these things are accurate, then the owner can hold daughter liable for any damages up until the lease ends in August. That is what it means to be the primary tenant. If she had received a written release from the lease in May and the new person had signed a new short term lease with the landlord for May to August, then the situation would be entirely different. If there were damages at the end of the tenancy in August, then it would be between the subtenant and the landlord.
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But if no new lease agreement was signed between subtenant and owner, then daughter is still on the hook for any rent or damages until August when the lease expires.
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A sublease doesn't take away any legal responsibility of the primary tenant to the landlord for the duration of the lease. The primary can just sue the subtenant for anything that they have to pay the landlord if the damages occurred after the primary moved out and they can prove the condition of the dwelling with photos as it was when they moved out..
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thanks
Barrister