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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 53729
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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We own a home that we were leasing with an option to buy. The

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We own a home that we were leasing with an option to buy. The lease ended in April of 2010 and the couple have not gotten a mortgage to purchase the home,that was to happen within one year. Now they are month to month tenants. They gave us a deposit toward the down payment of the home. They have caused quite a bit of damage,had people living there that were not on the lease,and now have told us that the are unable to pay this months rent. They now want their deposit back and we are wondering if we allowed to keep it to cover the repairs and the rent that they are not going to pay. The lease also stated that they would be reponsible for all repairs,but we paid for everything so far. We would like to tell to move but we want to know about the deposit before we do that.

Good morning. Yes, you are entitled to keep the deposit to cover either damages or unpaid rent. But, you want to comply with the Florida statutory requirements regarding the withholding of such deposit, which require that

"upon the vacating of the premises for termination of
the lease, the landlord shall have 15 days to return the security
deposit together with interest if otherwise required, or in which
to give the tenant written notice by certified mail to the tenant's
last known mailing address of his intention to impose a claim on
the deposit and the reason for imposing the claim. The notice
shall contain a statement in substantially the following form:

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 the landlord
fails to give the required notice within the 15-day period, he
forfeits his right to impose a claim upon the security deposit."



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The information given here is not legal advice. As all states have different intricacies in their laws, the information given is general only. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you. I hope this answer has been helpful to you.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Just to clarify,the deposit was not actually a security deposit. It was to be used for the downpayment of the house and thats why the people are saying that we have to give it back.
It doesn't make any difference if they are in default and owe you money for damages and unpaid rent. They do not get to receive that back and then walk away from what they owe you....they need to understand they are the ones in default here.
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