Residential Security Deposits in Florida: A Landlord’s Guide for Retention of Deposits & Payment of Interest

Security deposits are obviously one of the most important tools for landlords to protect their property when leasing it to a tenant.  However, when accepting a security deposit, residential landlords must comply with Florida law governing how security deposit must be held and how the accrued interest is paid out to the tenant.  If the landlord fails to comply with the applicable laws, the security deposit can quickly transform from a useful tool into a nuisance. First, landlords in Florida are not required to hold security deposits in interest-bearing accounts.  Pursuant to Florida Statute § 83.49(1)(a), landlords may elect to hold security deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts. When the landlord chooses that option, he must not co-mingle the security deposit with any other funds. But, where the landlord holds a tenant’s security deposit in an interest-bearing account, the tenant is entitled to collect some of the interest accrued on the…

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