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

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?


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Attorney answers 3


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.


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 legal advise but instead a general response to a general question. While Avvo is a wonderful resource, nothing can be a substitute for an in-depth consultation with an attorney in the jurisdiction in which the law is to be applied. This response shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it create an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry from the questioner.


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 your question does not create an attorney/client relationship or any future obligation. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Warrick strongly advises the questioner to consult with an local attorney in order to ensure proper advice is received.