Pompano Beach, FL asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida

Q: Landlord shows mens rea in security deposit withholding?

Our landlord violated our rights in the Statutes 83.49(3)(a) as she claimed on our deposit without providing the statement that allows me to object. She had the statutes attached to the lease, provided an itemized report of claims, and sent it certified. She also sent a check with the claim. To me this seems like intent to violate the statutes with belief that the tenant, misinformed, will not retaliate and attempt to object the claim, thus leading to the landlord's unjust enrichment. We have reasonable evidence that her own financial difficulties could have served as motive. Can mens rea be used in this instance? We plan to file subpoena to claim her bank statements as well.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Wow. Anyone who uses the sophisticated kind of legal terminology as you did--like mens rea, intent to violate the statutes, unjust enrichment, reasonable evidence, motive and subpoena should be more than able to defend themselves without my advice. Did you sign and deposit the check?

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