My wife did a final walk-through today and she said she was going to charge us for paint that is peeling off the top of the wall in the shower and for the stove covers that she said don't fit right on the stove. Don't she suppose to send a certified letter to me or is it ok for her to call and tell me. Also, isn't worn paint on the walls normal wear and tear? It don't state in the lease we have to paint the wall after we move out. So, can she charge us for that? Please help, I really think she is trying to get over on us so she can keep the entire security deposit.
Upon the vacating of the premises for termination of the lease, if the landlord does not intend to impose a claim on the security deposit, the landlord shall have 15 days to return the security deposit together with interest if otherwise required, or the landlord shall have 30 days to give the tenant written notice by certified mail to the tenant’s last known mailing address of his or her intention to impose a claim on the deposit and the reason for imposing the claim.
The notice shall contain a statement in substantially the following form:
This is a notice of my intention to impose a claim for damages in the amount of upon your security deposit, due to . It is sent to you as required by s. 83.49(3), Florida Statutes. You are hereby notified that you must object in writing to this deduction from your security deposit within 15 days from the time you receive this notice or I will be authorized to deduct my claim from your security deposit. Your objection must be sent to (landlord’s address).
As for the worn paint, a landlord can only withhold for damages only amounts that are deemed reasonable for the damage claimed. If a defect existed before you moved in, you should not be charged for that particular problem. Did you fill out a move-in checklist or take pictures of any damage when you moved in? It could definately be argued that peeling paint is normal wear and tear, especially in a wet shower area, and you have the right to dispute that charge.
I agree with the above attorney's answer. It doesnt seem as if the landlord followed the proper procedures for imposing a claim on your security deposit under Florida Statute 83.49.
This answer has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and it is recommended that you seek an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.
The contract will control the manner in which notices need to be sent. In Florida, Florida Statutes control the security deposits with regard to time matters. You may want to look up Florida Statutes Chapter 83 to see the notices required with regard to the security deposit and itemization and notice if amounts are to be withheld.
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