Two months after turning over possession to the landlord, he is charging us with rodent removal for something that was in the attic. We had no idea there was something in there until we moved out and took out items we had stored in the attic and saw something had chewed through our boxes and ruined many things. However, before we moved into the house, there was a dead rat in the garage. I did tell the landlord this. We just received our security deposit minus expenses to remove rodents in attic stating it was our responsibility and he was unaware of the issue until after we moved out. Is this legit? Can we charge him for damage to our items we stored in the attic since it was pre-existing? Can we dispute this? I have receipt of pest control contract we paid for while living there.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Whether or not your landlord can charge you for rodent removal is less of a concern than the fact that he waited two months to make a claim against your security deposit.
Under Florida Law a landlord has 15 days to return your security deposit in full or 30 days to give you written notice by certified mail of the reasons he is making a claim against your security deposit. If the landlord fails to give the required notice within 30 days, he forfeits his right to any claims against the security deposit.
You need to send a letter to your landlord within 15 days of receipt of his letter objecting to his claim against your security deposit. If he does not return the remaining amount, you can file suit against him. Florida Law allows the prevailing party in this type of suit to recover attorney fees and court costs.
Feel free to contact me should you wish to pursue legal action.