I have been renting from the same leasing company for two years.I am now 1 month away from the end of my lease and would like to get my security deposit back before the end of my lease.Through the course of the last year I have had a number of maintenance issues that are supposed to be covered by my lease and have had to pay for out of pocket.Faucets leaking for weeks that have driven up my water bill,broken heat that have caused me to use my oven to keep the house warm and driven up my electric bill,stucco falling from the ceiling on my face while I'm sleeping,etc.I was told by my leasing agency that I was not entitled to get my security deposit back til the end of my lease and if I try to leave before the end I get nothing even though they failed in their obligations.
A security deposit exists for the security of the landlord for property damage and repairs. An inspection is done as a walk through or immediately after the tenant moves out. The landlord then has 15 days after vacating to return it if he does not plan to make a claim or 30 days after vacating to make a claim on the security. You cannot get your security before the end of your lease unless the landlord for some unlikely reason agrees to give it to you.
When a landlord does no make repairs, take pictures, and send notice to the landlord to make the repairs in WRITING giving at least 7 days to make the repairs. If the landlord does not make the repairs, you can withhold rent or ask for a rent abatement. That is what Florida Law requires. A tenant should generally never pay out of pocket for repairs, it is unlikely you will ever see the money.
You are not going to get the security deposit back before the end of the lease AND you vacate the premises AND turn over keys.
You should give notice to the landlord / management in writing on what day you are turning over keys (preferably during office hours on the last day or last business day of your lease).
Remove all of your items, clean thoroughly, take pictures, and then turn over keys and possession to landlord or his agent.
You should give your forwarding address in writing to the landlord or his agent.
They are under an obligation to write you w/in 15 days to return the deposit or write you w/in 30 days to make a claim on the deposit.
When you have a maintenance problem or some other concern, you must put it in writing, mail to the management and landlord, and state that you give them 7 days from their receipt of the notice or you will withhold rent. if you don't do this at the time of the problem, you can't bring it up later.