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Landlord filed an eviction on April 10, 2014. Six days later tenant filed a suit for the return of her security deposit.  A Writ of Possession was issued in the landlord’s eviction and returned executed on May 2, 2014.

Fla. Stat. §83.49 of the Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act gives a landlord fifteen (15) days from the time property is vacated to return a security deposit or otherwise gives thirty (30) days to impose a claim on it.

A statutory cause of action cannot be commenced until the claimant has complied with all the conditions precedent. Inv. & Income Realty, Inc. v. Bentley, 480 So.2d 219 (Fla. 5th DCA, 1985), citing Ferry-Morse Seed Co. v. Hitchcock, 426 So.2d 958 (Fla. 1983). In a case seeking the return of a security deposit, the condition precedent is obviously giving the landlord enough time to comply with Fla. Stat. §83.49.

The court ruled that  because the tenant  filed her lawsuit prior to possession of the property being returned to the landlord on May 2, 2014,   the conditions precedent to filing the suit had not been met, and her claim was not ripe. The Court’s jurisdiction had not been perfected, and therefore the court dismissed the tenant’s suits without prejudice and awarded the landlord attorneys fees and costs as the prevailing party.


NESBITT v. JOHN,  Volusia County Court,  May 28, 2014. 21 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 1049d