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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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BACKGROUND I have to sue my landlord for return of security

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I have to sue my landlord for return of security deposit. I moved out on April 30 and today is June 19. So far I have not received my security deposit back, nor have I received any kind of information as to why I am not entitled. I've e-mailed him several times and he said he was going to send it, but he never did.

I currently reside in Palm Beach County Florida, the property was (is) located in Palm Beach County Florida (Delray Beach). However, the landlord lives in Miami-Dade County Florida. Same state – but another county. Do I sue in my county or in his County? I just want to make sure I get the venue correct.

I read that if I prevail in this lawsuit, I can retrieve my court filing fees in addition to getting my security deposit. What happens if the landlord decides to send me the security deposit back after I've already spent $300 to file? Do I lose my filing fee in that case? In other words, what happens if the landlord pays me before the case actually gets to trial?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. In regard to your first question, you would file suit in the county where the property is located. As such, it would be in Palm Beach County, Florida. As far as question two, if the landlord were to contact you, you could demand that he also pay the $300 filing fee which you had to incur. If you filed it already, you would not have to dismiss the case, unless everything was settled. If he is unwilling to tender the filing fees and any other costs, you could still proceed and not cash/accept the check which he sends. Of course, it would be at your discretion at that time, if you just want to take the $300 loss to settle, get your money back and not have to go through the procedure. Before you file suit, you may want to reach out one more time, explaining your intent and that he will owe more, if he loses. Moreover, based upon what you stated above, the Florida Statute supports your position and the time in which he MUST comply or else he waives his right and needs to return the entire amount.

Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on something which I stated above, prior to rating me. Also, please remember to rate my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars, before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for my help. I hope you found it to be Excellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two faces/stars on the left, please STOP and reply to me via the "REPLY TO EXPERT or CONTINUE CONVERSATION "button. I want to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible and that you are satisfied with the help I provided.
Hi Brett. I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Immediate and thorough answer. Very pleased. Well worth the money. Thank you.

You are welcome. If you have not already, please remember to rate my help so I can get credit. Thank you.
RealEstateAnswer and 2 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your help. This is the e-mail I plan to send my prior landlord. Is it okay?




Dear Todd,

This Letter of Intent shall serve as your formal notice of my intent to commence legal proceedings against you for failure to return my security deposit.

In the event you wish to resolve and settle this matter prior to legal proceedings, you must ensure I receive my full security deposit refund of $2500.00 no later than close of business (COB) Monday, June 24, 2013. If not received, a suit will be filed electronically. After filing, I will email you advising you of all additional costs incurred (filing fees, process service fees, summons fees, and any other fees or costs).


Once filed, I will not stop the proceeding UNLESS I receive the $2500.00 PLUS all fees incurred due to filing suit.


Failure to ensure I receive this deposit refund by the date specified above will cause me to initiate any and all actions necessary for the commencement of legal proceedings in the court and I will seek all damages and costs against you as allowable by law in respect of same.


Pursuant to Florida Statute Title VI, Chapter 83.49(3)(a), you were required to return my security deposit within 15 days after final lease termination date. As of Monday, June 24, 2013, 40 days (more than 5 weeks) will have elapsed.


Your prompt attention is appreciated,


Brett Loebel

This is a courtesy notice provided to give you a final opportunity to avoid additional and possibly significant legal fees. There is no legal requirement for me to provide this notice to you prior to commencing legal action.


You may want to give him a few additional days since he may send the check and you want to make sure you receive it and it clears. Next Friday sounds reasonable.