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What type of lawyer will I need? My ex-landlord is trying to keep almost half of my security deposit.

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

Over $300 in cleaning fees she claims on a 1BR apt—including carpet cleaning. I cleaned the place thoroughly & I asked her to do a walkthrough with me so that if she finds anything unsatisfactory I could take care of it on my own. She refused. She said she, "has to call the guy next week to come and do it." I have proof (receipt) that I rented a carpet cleaner, and photos/videos of the carpet being cleaned.

Besides all that she violated Florida statute Title VI, Chapter 83.49, section 3(a). She sent me a notice of deductions within 15 days, and with it a check. She presented it as if I have no recourse. She is a very dishonest person I do not want to let her take advantage of me—she's put me through so much stress in the 2 years I lived there and I have tons evidence.

I sent her a letter(certified, return) back a day after I received hers stating she's in violation and to return the remainder of the deposit(I have not cashed the first check yet, and don't plan to until this is resolved). How long does she have to respond? NOTE: I have a typo in my phone number, and I'm not sure how to fix it. Please PM me if you can help in this matter. I don't know if it will escalate to a court matter. On the one hand she is very very cheap and will not want to spend the money, but on the other hand she thinks I'm very very stupid and may just ignore the matter completely.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

Gather all of your evidence and either get a consultation with a landlord lawyer / real estate attorney or go file a small claim on your own in the county court.

Make sure you take all of the papers, including the notice that the landlord originally sent. If she did not include the proper language in the notice that she sent you, then she has forfeited any right to retain the deposit.

Good luck.



Thanks, that's what I had gathered as well regarding her not using proper language. It's misleading to not let a tenant know they have a right to dispute the deductions, and I can't imagine how many others have been taken advantage of in this same way. I will contact some lawyers if I do not hear back from the landlord. I guess she has 15 days to respond?

Carol Lynne Zimmerly

Carol Lynne Zimmerly


Did you give a time limit in your objection letter? Normally, you would want to give the landlord some time to respond, but I don't believe there is a 15 day time period for her to respond.....the next step is for one of you to sue the other if you can't come to an agreement. So, she doesn't have a time limit to respond unless you mentioned something in your letter. You can go ahead and sue now or (hopefully) try to negotiate and come to an agreement.



I did not give her a time limit, and she has not responded—I doubt she will. I'm not going to attempt to speak with her, as any communication between us is an instant argument. She thinks I'm a trouble maker because I don't let her take advantage. So I guess I will give her a few more days. Thanks a lot for the advice, I appreciate it.


Your description leads me to believe that your landlord has complied with the statute. Now you have to file an action in small claims court to recover the security deposit. You can attach copies of the pictures and receipts to your Statement of Claim and argue your case to the judge.

No attorney-client relationship is created by answering questions in this public forum. If you wish to create an attorney-client relationship, you must contact me directly and sign a representation agreement. Answers are provided based on general ideas and an answer specific to your situation would require a review of all documents.

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