Your old tenant is moving out and you have a new one coming in. Let’s say the old tenant left in a hurry, so you and staff have to now move out the trash and leftover belongings, steam the carpet, repaint the walls, do minor repair work. There’s a huge chunk of change from the security deposit that you want to use to cover expenses. You think to yourself you have 30 days to notify the previous tenant of your plans to use the funds to cover rehabilitation expenses. That’s well within your rights.
What if you only use part of the deposit for repairs and/or rehabilitation? Still think you have the full 30 days to deliver the remaining balance of the previous tenant’s deposit? Not so, says Florida Law. You have fifteen days to return the rest of the deposit to the previous tenant if you are not making any claim. That means, if you don’t have to do any cleaning, repairs or rehabilitation that requires you to take some/part/all of the previous tenant’s deposit, you have fifteen days to return/refund the full amount. If not, then you are opening yourself and the corporation to a lawsuit (and potential add-on fees that would double or triple what you would have to pay). So, be sure to ask your company’s attorney or the attorney you have on hand to handle your real estate/tenant legal issues. The last thing you would need is to have to pay thousands of dollars, in addition to returning the previous tenant’s deposit, when you first were notified of the tenant’s intent to vacate the premises.