A security deposit's function is to reimburse the landlord for physical damages, replacement costs for missing items, and sometimes for other charges which remain unpaid. The landlord does not give the deposit back before the tenant vacates. The landlord retakes possession, replaces missing items, cleans, repairs damages, and takes into account any balance owing on the ledger card.
The tenant must turn over keys and give his/her forwarding address to the landlord.
The landlord must send a letter within fifteen days if they are returning the funds or within thirty days if they are making a claim against the deposit.
it is your responsibility to remove all of your items and turn over keys and possession to the landlord at the time your lease ends. The landlord can choose to have an agent present to take the keys and retake possession, or she can choose to not be available. (It is not a state requirement that the LL do a walk-through / move-out inspection.) If the LL is not available, then mail the keys to her in a padded envelope via certified/registered post.
You can take pictures and videos after you remove your items and clean, then return the keys and possession.
Since the landlord cannot do the walkthrough, email her to confirm she cannot make it or she can send an agent (someone acting on her behalf) to do the inspection. Take pictures/videos of everything you can think of after the furniture is moved so you have proof. The law is that the landlord has 15 days to send you your deposit if she intends not to keep any of it or she has 30 days to issue a notice of claim on the security deposit that must be sent via certified mail. E-mail her your forwarding address so she knows where to send the deposit. If after the 30 days from the date you vacate she does not send you notice or sends it improperly (not via certified mail) she may have waived her right to keep ANY of the money. If you get such a notice you have 15 days to object (this is not required to be sent via certified mail). If you cannot come to an agreed resolution, you will have to sue to get your monies back. I have handled several cases like this.
So, I understand you need your money but you might not get all of it back immediately.
Attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. Landlord/Tenant, Appellate and Criminal Defense. Robert Devin, Esq. (954) 647-5927, 200 SE 6th St., Suite 603, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 email@example.com