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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 35016
Experience:  12+ yrs. of experience including real estate law.
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My name is ***** *****, and I have a question about Florida

Customer Question

My name is ***** *****, and I have a question about Florida rental leasing deposits.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I moved out of a home, it was pretty new. Me and my wife were at this home on a 1 year lease, which switched month to month. I work with SpaceX and travel, so I just left Florida to come to California long story short, me and my wife cleaned the bajeesus out of our rental, and they are still trying to take our full deposit. But I travel and am in California, I am aware that I have 30 days to object to a written notice before they take my funds, but I am nowhere near Florida unfortunately to object, and the letter will go to that house. And finally, it was agreed (I still have the email) that the place was technically mine until the 31st of January however they without my permission cut off the water, and I believe moved new tenants in before the 31st, unless the tenants activated water and moved in 3 weeks later, which I see unlikely. Is that allowed? Especially if It was still technically during my final month? Sorry for so much text by the way.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Real Estate Lawyers generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

Hello! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney with more than 18 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help

Also, if you would like to chat on the phone, let me know and I can make that happen.

Sorry for this dilemma. I want to make sure I you not have a contact for the landlord? That is, you mention "letter will go to that house"...what does that mean? Are you saying you can not communicate, by mail, with the landlord?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is going to my mothers house, but I am a veteran that got out of the military and went straight into traveling contract work. I have not bought a house yet so I do not have a physical address, I travel and lease where I have to work. I have never spoken to the landlord before, only the company that manages the property, a representative named Maria. I have no address or phone number for the actual renter of the house, only the rental company.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.


The rental company is the one you have dealt with so far? They are the ones you signed the lease with?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sir, they are the only ones.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

This is easy...or, relatively easy...

However, I think you may be off on the timing. The FL statute that applies can be seen here

It provides, in part

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.

So you have 15 days NOT 30 days.

You will want to send your objection by certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep a copy (in case you land in court)

On great part (for you) of the FL statute is that it allows you to sue for lawyers if you have to hire a lawyer to resolve this? You can add that to the claim. I would mention that in the letter you send to the rental agency (so they know you will sue with a lawyer if the screw around on this)

As for them renting the property while you are still paying for it?

Technically, it is yours (if you paid rent to the 31, you own it till then) could sue them to recover the money the made while you were the tenant

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sir, Thank you very much for your answers, but I have one final thing I forgot to mention (will add donation and review), during my last month, I called around the 25th-26th to the water company, and my name had been taken off the property without my permission before the lease ended to another family, is this something that I can use too?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

Perhaps...IF you wind up in court? You can add that as a separate cause of action (the the landlord, in effect, has taken your property without your permission)

And you can mention this as well in your dispute letter. The key (I believe) is to let them know if that letter that if they do not return your deposit you WILL hire a lawyer and they WILL sue and you will ask they be forced not only to pay the loss of deposit and loss of use but also your lawyers fees...I bet that convinces them to reconsider their strategy