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The Legislature in brief

Today is the 23rd day of the 60-day session.

By DIANE RADO

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 28, 2001


Today is the 23rd day of the 60-day session.

Renters' refunds could take longer

Renters, pay attention. It may take longer to get your security deposit back under a bill moving through the Legislature.

The Florida Senate gave preliminary approval Tuesday to legislation that would give landlords 30 days, instead of the current 15, to return a security deposit or notify tenants there will be a claim against the deposit because of damage to rental property.

Landlords and property management companies have complained that 15 days isn't enough time to make accurate inspections and get estimates for repairs.

The issue sparked spirited debate, as Democrats tried to restore the 15-day deadline. "Right now, 15 days is a long time period," said Sen. Steve Geller, D-Hallandale Beach. "You have to understand the real world impact . . . frequently they (tenants) need their security deposits to be able to afford a deposit on another rental."

But Republicans, who have a 25-15 Senate majority, kept the 30-day provision in place.

The legislation comes up for final approval as early as Thursday. Similar legislation is moving forward in the House.

-- For information about legislation, call this number toll-free during business hours: 1-800-342-1827. For Internet users, Online Sunshine is the official site for the Legislature.

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