Well it’s official. HB 77 was signed into Law June 7, 2013. The 20 page bill extensively amended the residential landlord tenant act.

In this Blog, I will highlight one portion of the Bill regarding security deposits.

Acoording to the new revisions to the Florida Landlord Tenant Act, Landlord now needs to provide the Tenant with the following statutory disclosure regarding security deposits. This new statutory disclosure language must be contained in the lease and must have the following specific wording. This new disclosure language is only required for leases entered into after January 1, 2014.

” YOUR LEASE REQUIRES PAYMENT OF CERTAIN DEPOSITS. THE LANDLORD MAY TRANSFER ADVANCE RENTS TO THE LANDLORD’S ACCOUNT AS THEY ARE DUE AND WITHOUT NOTICE. WHEN YOU MOVE OUT, YOU MUST GIVE THE LANDLORD YOUR NEW ADDRESS SO THAT THE LANDLORD CAN SEND YOU NOTICES REGARDING YOUR DEPOSIT. THE LANDLORD MUST MAIL YOU NOTICE, WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER YOU MOVE OUT, OF THE LANDLORD’S INTENT TO IMPOSE A CLAIM AGAINST THE DEPOSIT. IF YOU DO NOT REPLY TO THE LANDLORD STATING YOUR OBJECTION TO THE CLAIM WITHIN 15 DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE LANDLORD’S NOTICE, THE LANDLORD WILL COLLECT THE CLAIM AND MUST MAIL YOU THE REMAINING DEPOSIT, IF ANY. IF THE LANDLORD FAILS TO TIMELY MAIL YOU NOTICE, THE LANDLORD MUST RETURN THE DEPOSIT BUT MAY LATER FILE A LAWSUIT AGAINST YOU FOR DAMAGES. IF YOU FAIL TO TIMELY OBJECT TO A CLAIM, THE LANDLORD MAY COLLECT FROM THE DEPOSIT, BUT YOU MAY LATER FILE A LAWSUIT CLAIMING A REFUND. YOU SHOULD ATTEMPT TO INFORMALLY RESOLVE ANY DISPUTE BEFORE FILING A LAWSUIT. GENERALLY, THE PARTY IN WHOSE FAVOR A JUDGMENT IS RENDERED WILL BE AWARDED COSTS AND ATTORNEY FEES PAYABLE BY THE LOSING PARTY. THIS DISCLOSURE IS BASIC. PLEASE REFER TO PART II OF CHAPTER 83, FLORIDA STATUTES, TO DETERMINE YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS.”

Note: The above disclosure language replaces providing the tenant with a copy of subsection (3) of s. 83.49, F.S. Landlords should take specific notice of the above language which states that a tenant who fails to make a timely objection to a landlord’s claim against a security deposit does not waive any rights to seek damages in a separate action.

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Posted by: marvinkatz on June 20, 2013