We are landlords of a condo in Florida. The tenants moved out and left a less than broom clean unit with damages, as well as unauthorized painting behind. We want to keep half of the security deposit($1000) to cover our expenses of repairs and priming/painting. We have sent a certified letter to the former tenant within 30 days of the move out stating our intent to withhold some of the money. They replied via certified letter but offered no counter or acceptance. We replied once again offering the $500 split, so far no response. My question is how long do we have to continue corresponding? The realtor that managed the property(collected rent/commission) is doing nothing to mediate or resolve this issue. What should we do?
2 Answers from Attorneys
One of you must start a court proceeding to determine the issue. The prevailing party is entitled to attorney fees and costs.
The statutory process does not have a means to conclude until resolved by a Judge. You technically have to hold the sums in the security deposit account until the dispute is resolved. Mr. Slater is correct, you or they would need to file suit to end the stalemate.