I moved from Miami to NY in mid Jan, but left my apartment in Miami on Dec 24/13. Can I file a suit in small claim in NY about getting my deposit back or would it be better to return to FL to do it? I know the law well in FL about 15 days to claim damages or Landlord forfeit his right to make claim. After back and forth emails a check was sent to me for $1450, when my deposit was $1800. Cashing this check would mean I agree with damages, this absurd delay and settled for the amount, so I mailed it back and want to collect my full deposit under the protection of the law. It's now more than 2 months since I left the apartment.
Also these damage claims are about painting the apartment and changing the lock, and cleaning, when I have pictures of the apartment being very dirty when I moved in and also I also took pictures of the way I returned the apartment to help him rent for far away. Since I didn't have the opportunity of doing a walk through with anyone appointment by the landlord or himself and was kind enough to mail him the keys and request delivery confirmation to help to be in good graces and avoid this very drama in the future.
Real Estate Attorney
Your understanding of Florida law is inaccurate. The LL has 15 days to return your full deposit OR 30 days to send, by certified mail to the Tenant's last known mailing address, a notice of intent to claim part or all of the sec dep. The tenant then has 15 days to respond by certified mail indicating the Tenant's objection. If the Tenant does not object, the LL may deduct the amount claimed and forward the remainder to the Tenant (within 30 days of the Notice of Intent).
Regarding whether you can sue in NY is a question to be asked of NY attorneys, but as the LL lives in PA and the contract arose in FL, it would appear that NY courts have no grounds for jurisdiction.
If you believe the LL wrongfully withheld funds from your sec dep, you will likely have to file in Florida. You will need to weigh the costs of doing so vs. What was withheld.
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