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Florida Security Deposit Laws

Florida Security Deposit Laws

Navigating the intricacies of Florida's security deposit laws is essential for both landlords and tenants to ensure fair and transparent rental practices. Understanding the legal framework governing these deposits can help landlords manage their properties more effectively and avoid potential disputes.

In this guide, we delve into the key aspects of Florida's security deposit laws, providing landlords with the knowledge they need to protect their investments and maintain positive tenant relationships.

Florida Security Deposit Limit

Florida offers a program where a tenant can agree to pay a potentially nonrefundable monthly fee instead of providing a security deposit, though the tenant remains fully responsible for any damage to the premises. The law outlines detailed requirements for landlords who wish to implement this option.

There is also no state-imposed limit on the amount a landlord can charge as a security deposit in Florida. While landlords have the discretion to set the deposit amount, it should be reasonable to avoid deterring potential tenants and prolonging vacancy periods. Typically, it is advisable to charge a deposit equivalent to one or two months' rent.

Storing a Tenant’s Deposit in Florida

Under Florida law, landlords are required to hold security deposits in a separate bank account. This account must be located in the state of Florida. Landlords have two options for storing the deposit:

  • Non-Interest Bearing Account: The landlord may place the deposit in a non-interest-bearing account. In this case, the landlord must inform the tenant in writing within 30 days of receiving the deposit.
  • Interest Bearing Account: Alternatively, the landlord can place the deposit in an interest-bearing account. If this option is chosen, the landlord must pay the tenant at least 75% of the annualized average interest rate payable on the account or 5% per year, whichever the landlord chooses.
  • Surety Bond: Landlord posts a bond with the circuit court clerk, crediting the tenant 5% annual interest. The bond, by a licensed Florida company, should match the deposit plus advance rent or $50,000, whichever is less. For landlords leasing in five or more counties, the bond amount with the Secretary of State can be up to $250,000. Changes in holding the deposit require written tenant notification within 30 days unless the landlord leases four or fewer units.

Written Notice after Security Deposit Receipt

Florida law mandates that landlords provide a written notice to tenants within 30 days of receiving their security deposit. This notice must include:

  • The name and address of the depository where the deposit is being held.
  • The date the deposit was received.
  • The amount of the deposit.
  • Whether the tenant will receive interest on the deposit and, if so, the rate of interest.

Failure to provide this notice within the specified timeframe means the landlord forfeits the right to claim any portion of the deposit for damages, unless the tenant was given proper notice of the claim.

Reasons to Withhold a Tenant’s Security Deposit in Florida

Landlords in Florida can withhold a tenant’s security deposit for several reasons, including:

  • Unpaid Rent: The landlord has the right to take money from the security deposit if a tenant doesn't pay their rent.
  • Damage to Property: Landlords can withhold deposit funds to cover the cost of repairing damages beyond normal wear and tear. This includes things like broken appliances, holes in the walls, or significant carpet stains.
  • Cleaning Costs: If the tenant leaves the rental unit in an excessively dirty condition, the landlord can deduct reasonable cleaning costs.
  • Monetary Damage as a Result of a Breach of the Lease: If a tenant breaches the lease agreement, causing financial loss to the landlord, the landlord can deduct the monetary damages from the security deposit. This could include costs associated with early lease termination, legal fees, or lost rent due to the breach.
  • Other Charges as Outlined in the Lease: Any additional charges specified in the lease agreement, such as late fees, unpaid utility bills, or agreed-upon maintenance costs, can be deducted from the security deposit. The lease must clearly outline these charges for the deductions to be valid.

Landlords must provide an itemized list of any deductions made from the deposit, along with receipts or estimates for the repairs and cleaning costs.

Security Deposit Refund in Florida

According to Florida law, if there are no claims against the security deposit, the landlord has 15 days after the tenant's move-out date to return it to the tenant, or the leftover amount after deductions.

Within thirty days of the tenant's request, the landlord must give written notice of any deductions they plan to make. An itemized list of any damages or charges must be included with this notification, which must be sent by certified mail to the tenant's last known address.

After then, the renter has 15 days to refute the allegations. Within 30 days following the notice period, the landlord may deduct the amounts requested and restore the remaining deposit if the tenant does not protest.


Understanding Florida’s security deposit laws is crucial for both landlords and tenants. These laws help ensure fair treatment and clear expectations for both parties. By adhering to these regulations, landlords can avoid legal disputes and foster positive relationships with their tenants.

For landlords who prefer professional assistance with managing their properties and navigating complex legal requirements, Sand Dollar Property Management offers expert property management services.

Our knowledgeable team is well-versed in Florida’s security deposit laws and can help you manage your rental property efficiently and effectively. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in protecting your investment and ensuring a smooth rental experience.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in this blog is intended for general guidance and should not be considered as a replacement for professional legal advice. It is important to be aware that laws pertaining to property management may change, rendering this information outdated by the time you read it.

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