The law requires that the tenant must take certain steps to enforce their right to return of the security deposit. A lease may also contain a provision regarding your security deposit.

If you have a written lease, you should read it to determine whether there is any specific type of notice that you must give your landlord prior to vacating the unit. If there is, be sure to comply. If the written lease is silent, give the landlord the notice described in the following paragraph.

If you have no written lease and you pay rent weekly or monthly then you must do the following at least seven (7) days before you move out: you must send a letter to the landlord, by certified mail or personal delivery, containing the date you will move out and your new address.
Your landlord has 15 days after you move out to return your security deposit to you. If your landlord is not going to return your deposit or intends to make a claim on part of your deposit, the landlord must send you a written notice by certified mail within 30 days after you vacate stating his/her intention to keep all or part of your security deposit and the reason why.

If your landlord sends you a notice that he intends to make a claim on your deposit, then you have 15 days after you receive the notice to object to the claim. If your landlord keeps the deposit money more than 30 days after you move out, WITHOUT sending you a written explanation of why the money is being withheld, or if the reasons the deposit is being withheld are not true, you can try to get the money back by filing a lawsuit against your landlord in Small Claims Court.

Below is a copy of the Florida statute on security deposits Fla. Stat. Section 83.49 (2013)

Section 83.49. Deposit money or advance rent; duty of landlord and tenant

(1) Whenever money is deposited or advanced by a tenant on a rental agreement as security for performance of the rental agreement or as advance rent for other than the next immediate rental period, the landlord or the landlord's agent shall either:

(2) The landlord shall, within 30 days of receipt of advance rent or a security deposit, notify the tenant in writing of the manner in which the landlord is holding the advance rent or security deposit and the rate of interest, if any, which the tenant is to receive and the time of interest payments to the tenant. Such written notice shall:
Subsequent to providing such notice, if the landlord changes the manner or location in which he or she is holding the advance rent or security deposit, he or she shall notify the tenant within 30 days of the change according to the provisions herein set forth. This subsection does not apply to any landlord who rents fewer than five individual dwelling units. Failure to provide this notice shall not be a defense to the payment of rent when due.

(3) (4) The provisions of this section do not apply to transient rentals by hotels or motels as defined in chapter 509; nor do they apply in those instances in which the amount of rent or deposit, or both, is regulated by law or by rules or regulations of a public body, including public housing authorities and federally administered or regulated housing programs including s. 202, s. 221(d)(3) and (4), s. 236, or s. 8 of the National Housing Act, as amended, other than for rent stabilization. With the exception of subsections (3), (5), and (6), this section is not applicable to housing authorities or public housing agencies created pursuant to chapter 421 or other statutes.

(5) Except when otherwise provided by the terms of a written lease, any tenant who vacates or abandons the premises prior to the expiration of the term specified in the written lease, or any tenant who vacates or abandons premises which are the subject of a tenancy from week to week, month to month, quarter to quarter, or year to year, shall give at least 7 days' written notice by certified mail or personal delivery to the landlord prior to vacating or abandoning the premises which notice shall include the address where the tenant may be reached. Failure to give such notice shall relieve the landlord of the notice requirement of paragraph (3)(a) but shall not waive any right the tenant may have to the security deposit or any part of it.

(6) For the purposes of this part, a renewal of an existing rental agreement shall be considered a new rental agreement, and any security deposit carried forward shall be considered a new security deposit.

(7) Upon the sale or transfer of title of the rental property from one owner to another, or upon a change in the designated rental agent, any and all security deposits or advance rents being held for the benefit of the tenants shall be transferred to the new owner or agent, together with any earned interest and with an accurate accounting showing the amounts to be credited to each tenant account. Upon the transfer of such funds and records as stated herein, and upon transmittal of a written receipt therefore, the transferor shall be free from the obligation imposed in subsection (1) to hold such moneys on behalf of the tenant. However, nothing herein shall excuse the landlord or agent for a violation of the provisions of this section while in possession of such deposits.

(8) Any person licensed under the provisions of , unless excluded by the provisions of this part, who fails to comply with the provisions of this part shall be subject to a fine or to the suspension or revocation of his or her license by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation in the ma

nner provided in . (9) In those cases in which interest is required to be paid to the tenant, the landlord shall pay directly to the tenant, or credit against the current month's rent, the interest due to the tenant at least once annually. However, no interest shall be due a tenant who wrongfully terminates his or her tenancy prior to the end of the rental term.