Resolving a Security Deposit Dispute in Tampa
If you have been a landlord for any length of time, you have probably had at least one security deposit dispute. You make a claim against the security deposit, you send it to your tenant by certified mail, as required by Florida law, and your tenant disputes it. Not only does your tenant dispute it, but they also become furiously angry with you. These are the elements of a security deposit dispute. So, today we are going to let you know how we handle that kind of dispute at Hoffman Realty.
There are two things that are very important:
- Make sure you complete the security deposit claim correctly. We have blogged about how to make a claim against the tenant’s security deposit in the past.
- Make sure you only claim the fair and legal things permitted against the security deposit. This is another blog we have done in the past, so make sure you review it.
If we withhold money from the security deposit and the tenants are disputing it, the first thing we do is to invite the tenants to meet with us face to face. This gives the tenant an opportunity to tell us their concerns with the dispute and to be heard. It also gives us the opportunity to hear what they have to say. Communication is an important part of the dispute, and you want to handle it correctly.
We always review the move in and move out inspections with the tenants.
At Hoffman Realty, we do video inspections, which we highly recommend. When you can compare on video how the place looked at the time of move in to the way it looks after a tenant moves out, the documentation is very objective. Some property managers still rely on checklists, but a checklist is very subjective. You’re left wondering what it really means when things are simply checked off as being in good condition. With a video, you and the tenant can see everything.
Typically, after we review the inspections together, the dispute goes away.
The tenants can see that we are doing the right thing. This process works very well. We make hundreds of security deposit claims a year, and we have only had one claim in the last five years that was not resolved by this methodology.
If you have any questions on how to property handle disputes over the security deposit with your tenants, contact us or give us a call at (813) 875-7474.