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How do I sue my landlord/management office?

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

I moved out but I didn't get my deposit. The manager sent me a text saying my deposit was processing. It's been 2 months and now he doesn't even answer the phone. I've called and texted many times but he keeps ignoring me. I didn't break the lease and he didn't give a reason for not giving back my deposit. How do I sue someone I can't even find?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    In a residential context, the failure of the landlord tor return the security deposit or otherwise make a timely claim to the money renders any late claim invalid. The landlord is required to return the deposit. If you were to retain an attorney to seek the deposit in court, the landlord would e responsible for your attorneys' fees. If you decide to proceed on your own without an attorney, you can do so. If the amount if less than $5,000, you can file the claim in small claims court. The difficulty you mentioned in locating the landlord is something that requires a little investigation. You can search the property appraiser's office to identify the legal owner of the property. If the property is owned by a corporation, the officers and registered agent can be located at www.sunbiz.org. Once you identify the owner, you can fill out the small claims forms and identify the owner and address. The Sheriff will serve it.


  2. small claims court--there are processes for suit against party who is dodging the plaintiff.

    district court if you wnat an attorney to handle the details.

    As a practical matter if you can't find the LL, your 'win' in court might be mitigated a bit, but if you stick to it, you can likely find the LL eventually and enforce your judgment.

    Don't delay, then forget, and finally miss the closing of the statute of limitations that would prevent you from bringing suit ever.

    READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I give a 100% effort to get you on the right track with your issue. Sometimes that means legal educational information, sometimes that means counseling and non-legal guidance. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.


  3. Start with a letter sent certified mail to the management office.
    Say that you did not receive a letter or the check returning your Sec. Dep.
    Demand that they send the check to your new address and include your new
    address in the letter.

    If you have to sue in small claims court, the process server or sheriff will
    attempt to serve the defendant. They may have to make more than one
    attempt, but if there is an office they should be able to eventually.

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