When you enter into a rental agreement with a tenant, it is expected that both parties will uphold said agreement. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. While most tenants do fulfill their end of the arrangement, a select few do not. When this occurs, you can find yourself with damages, unauthorized changes to the property, and unpaid bills. Once the dust settles and you tally the bill, it’s time to file the Notice of Intention to Make a Claim. This Notice will state the reasons why the landlord feels the security deposit will be withheld. If the tenant objects to the claim, they have fifteen days to respond voicing their discord with the Notice. If they do not respond, the objection is deemed to be waived.

So what is the next step if the tenant files a response within the fifteen day time period?

If the tenant objects, within the allotted time period, the issue will be considered open, allowing the tenant to file suit against the landlord for return of the security deposit. This also allows the landlord to file action with the court. During this suit, a judge will review the landlord and/or tenant’s documentation regarding the situation. After assessing all of the information, the court will then determine the parties’ rights – who will get the security deposit. The winning party is generally entitled to compensation for attorney’s fees and court costs.

When in doubt, it is best to always consult with an experienced attorney. They would be able to help you navigate this complicated situation.

Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida foreclosure attorney, can help your wade through this process and determine a positive solution. Contact him at 813-549-0096.

The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. The author takes full responsibility for the content. Like all blog posts, this is offered for general information purposes and does not constitute legal advice.