Landlord-Tenant: Security Deposits and Advance Rent
Collecting Advance Rent1) The landlord may require the tenant to pay rent in advance for a future rent payment period. An example might be "first and last month's rent."
2) Advance rent is not the same as pre-paid rent.
3) Advance rent can be collected only if the lease is in writing.
Security Deposits1) Security Deposits are not the same as advance rent. It is just a security for the performance of the rent, and to prevent or pay for damages that a tenant may cause.
2) If the landlord does not take out a surety bond, then the landlord must hold the security deposit in a separate non-interest bearing or interest-bearing account in a Florida banking institution. The security deposit cannot be commingled with landlord's own money.
3) If the landlord wishes to commingle a security deposit with his personal or business account, the landlord must post a surety bond in the amount of the security deposit, or $50,000, whichever is less.
Return of Security DepositThe landlord must return the security deposit plus accrued interest to the tenant when the lease is terminated. Security deposits must be refunded to tenants within 15 days of their vacating the premises.
The security deposit is abandoned if the landlord attempts to pay the security deposit back to the tenant, but cannot find the tenant.