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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 19768
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. experience with Real Estate
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My x-wife and I have a disagreement concerning a deposit for

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My x-wife and I have a disagreement concerning a deposit for a rental property that was jointly owned when we received the deposit. The deposit was split between the two of us when originally received. When the tenants vacated the premises and were due their deposit back, we had already gotten divorced and divided our assets. Our question is, should both parties be responsible for returning the portion of the deposit they received, or should the current owner be responsible for returning the entire deposit. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
Thank you for the information and your question. Unless there was a statement in the divorce settlement/decree that said the debts and profits of the home would continue to be split 50/50, which doesn't sound like the case since there is now apparently one owner, then the current owner would be legally liable to pay the entire deposit back to the former tenant, regardless of how the deposit was split in the beginning.
The fact is, that under Florida law, the security deposit was all supposed to go into a separate account for the benefit of the tenant anyway. In other words, it shouldn't have been split and used for anything else. You can see the statute that applies by going to: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0083/Sections/0083.49.html
As to whether a court would say that the other spouse (non-owner) must now produce half of the deposit to pay the owner who has the legal duty to pay it back, that is not likely. The owner can certainly go to small claims court and try to make their case, but if the home was jointly owned and now isn't and nothing in the divorce decree addressed the issue, they are going to just stick with the law, which is the owner must pay the security deposit with no contribution from the non-owner.
The only positive here for the owner, is that they may be able to take a deduction on their taxes if this is an actively managed property.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,
I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 8th. For some unknown reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (in the pop up box, which is how we get credit (paid) for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.
In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-marsha411jd/
Thank you.

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