What should I do if my landlord refuses to return my deposit?

Asked about 2 years ago - Pensacola, FL

I recently moved out of a house I've been renting for over 2 years. My landlord refuses to return my deposit on the ground that he has to repair "normal wear and tear". Isn't that wear and tear expected while living in a house? Can he really keep my deposit?


Attorney answers (3)

  1. Carol Lynne Zimmerly


    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, a landlord may not make a claim against a security deposit for normal wear and tear.
    Did the Landlord put that in writing?

    Did the Landlord send you a letter via certified mail?

    You should respond to the letter with your objection.
    Send your objection letter via certified mail return receipt requested.
    Mail it as soon as possible. the landlord must receive it within 15 days of you
    receiving his letter.

    Good luck.

  2. Jeffrey B. Lampert


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As Ms. Graham stated, normal wear and tear is the responsibility of the landlord, not a tenant.

    The landlord-tenant act provides for an award of attorney's fee to the winning party, so, do not be afraid to consult with an attorney and possibly retain legal counsel to represent you.

    I hope you found this response to be of assistance. This response shall not be considered the rendering of... more
  3. K Scott Warrick

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . Your landlord is responsible for normal wear and tear. If the landlord did not make a claim, by certified mail, against your deposit within 30 days of your vacating the premises then the landlord has forfeited the right to the deposit under section 83.49(3)(a), Florida Statutes. If you hire an attorney and prevail, then you are entitled to the deposit plus reimbursement of your attorney's fees pursuant to section 83.49(3)(c). The landlord must strictly comply with this statute although many violate it. I practice in Escambia and Santa Rosa county and have success in these types of cases.

    Mr. Warrick is licensed to practice law in Florida and Alabama. This response is not legal advice and responing to... more

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