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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29969
Experience:  Lawyer
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I am looking to get my security deposit back from my

Customer Question

I am looking to get my security deposit back from my landlord. She sent me a certified letter that she was going to take parts of it within 15 days of me moving out. I sent her a certified letter back claiming what she wanted to take was unacceptable. I have not heard back from her.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Florida
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I do not know.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes. I asked my landlord to use my security deposit for last months rent or provide me with a receipt that the security deposit was in escrow. She told me that she would not provide me with a copy and that I could not use my security deposit for last months rent. Given the many issues I had with the home I opted to not pay last months rent because I believe she did not keep my security deposit in a separate untouched account. She sent me a 3 day notice to vacate the property or she would start the eviction process. I already had another home to move into so I left when I got the letter. She then barred me from entering though the security gates when I left (technically I still had 15+ days left on my lease) I called the cops so that we could go in and record the house was left in good condition so that she could not do any damages to the home and say that it was me. The security deposit in question is $5500.00
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
She is trying to charge me the last months rent 3780.00 a late payment fee for 500.00 for that month and another 500.00 late payment fee for a month she claims I was late on but I have proof I was not via my bank wire history. This totals 4780.00 so she would owe me 720.00. I informed her Via certified letter that I was contesting her claims. She has yet to contact me back and now I have none of the funds.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 7 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

When a tenant objects to a landlord's use of the security deposit, the landlord is supposed to file a lawsuit to allow a judge to decide who should keep the money. If the landlord didn't do that, you can file on your own. It's possible to sue for up to $5,000 in Small Claims Court. The landlord is allowed to keep at least part of the deposit for rent up until the end of the lease, so if the monthly rent was more than $500, you can file in Small Claims. You do not need a lawyer.

Here is more information on the process:

http://www.flcourts.org/resources-and-services/family-courts/family-law-self-help-information/small-claims.stml

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I understand I can go to small claims court but I do not have the time, patience or know how to get it all done properly. Id like a lawyer to go on my behalf.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 7 months ago.

This is a question and answer service. We help people represent themselves. We do not represent customers.

You will be required to go to court to testify that you did not damage the property before leaving. However, you are free to hire an attorney if you like. A good place to find someone is www.martindale.com.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
How would I be able to look up if a law suit was filed by her? Its been over a month and I have not heard a response from her regarding my certified letter.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 7 months ago.

When someone files a lawsuit, they're required to serve notice on the other party. You should have gotten something if the case already existed. But you can call the local courthouse and ask the clerk if they see any cases with your name on them. If your letter said you were disputing the full $5,500, try the Superior Court first.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Last question. Her certified letter to me says I must reject to the claim within 15 days of receiving the letter. It was delivered on November 9th to me and my response was shipped out via certified mail on the 22nd (14 days) the landlord did not receive the letter until the 28th which would be past the 15 days. Am I still correct in responding to her before the 15 day deadline?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 7 months ago.

Yes. Your response is considered complete when it's mailed. Also, a tenant doesn't waive their right to the deposit if they don't reply within 15 days. You can still file a lawsuit.

Usually, small claims cases are resolved in mediation rather than at trial. Mediation is a more informal.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 7 months ago.

Do you have any other questions about this?