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The Side Bar – Volume VI, Issue 6

The Side Bar – Volume VI, Issue 6

June, 2014

 

From Lenny’s Corner

Hands across Tampa Bay seems to be the region’s theme this summer. It is long overdue. We are doing our part by joining the Tampa Chamber of Commerce and mixing a little St. Pete with a little Tampa. our hope is that with our attorneys, Dan Taylor, serving as a Tampa Chamber of Commerce ambassador, and Stuart Bromfield, an active member of Emerge, we can make connections that help build one unified community.

Having experienced all the great things St. Pete has to offer, Englander Fischer has made it a priority to connect with Tampa and to foster connections between Tampa and St. Pete businesses. As part of my personal subscription to the movement, I have joined the Tampa Vistage Chief Executive Program and Englander Fischer’s very own CFO, Evelyn Delgado, has joined the Tampa Vistage Executive Program.

Although Englander Fischer has made great steps to bridging the gap, in order to show our full commitment, we have obtained office space in Tampa that is available for client meetings and case conferences. Both Tampa and St. Pete have a lot to offer, but aligning the two will make one unstoppable community. I am proud that we are able to cross the bridges of our region.


How Can a Residential Landlord Lose the Right to a Security Deposit?

With the real estate marketing slowly making a comeback, you may see your tenants moving out and opting to buy. While your tenant’s outstretched hand may look like a cue for a handshake, it is probably the “gimme” signal for you to return the security deposit. This article provides a few tips to make sure you, as a residential landlord, comply with the Florida law and do not unnecessarily risk the right to a security deposit.

 

The Basics: What Do I Do With the Security Deposit?

Florida law required that residential landlords hold all security deposits in (1) a Florida bank; (2) that the deposit is not comingled with other month; and (3) that the deposit is placed in either a non-interest bearing account or an interest bearing account. If the deposit is placed in an interest bearing account, the landlord must give the tenant 75% of the annual average interest of 5% simple interest. The only alternative to the bank deposit is a Florida surety bond with the clerk of the county circuit court where the property is located. If a bond is posted, the landlord must also pay the tenant 5% simple interest annually on his/her security deposit.

 

What To Do If You Want To Place a Claim Against the Security Deposit?

If a landlord wants to place a claim against the tenant’s security deposit, the landlord must give written noticed by certified mail within thirty (30) days of the lease termination before taking the funds. The notice must provide amounts and reasons why the claim is being made and give the tenant certain disclosures required by the statute. If the tenant objects within fifteen (15) days of the landlord’s notice, the landlord may sue the tenant to determine whether the landlord may take the security deposit for the claimed amount. The prevailing party is entitled to attorney’s fees and costs.

The laws governing security deposits are straight forward, but many landlords do not follow the law. Landlords that do not follow the security deposit laws may one day be bitten by a tenant that reads the statute of retains counsel. Should you have further questions regarding either residential or commercial landlord/tenant issues, please call Englander Fischer to see how one of our attorneys can assist you.


What’s New At Englander Fischer?

  • John Waechter has joined the Remember Honor Support Board of Directors. RHS raises awareness and educates our community of the needs of our uniformed men and women returning home.
  • Jason Ellison was chosen for Florida Bar’s Leadership Academy. The program’s goal is to reach out to lawyers across the diverse state of Florida and help give them the skills and resources needed to become leaders in their communities.
  • Stuart Bromfield was recognized by the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit’s Pro Bono Committee and the HAVE, a Heart pro bono project.
  • Courtney Fernald was named 2015’s Editor of the Paraclete. The Paraclete is a magazine issued by the St. Petersburg Bar Association.

 

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