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-> Licensing questions
Jul 31, 20:04
Question by BocaLyndaLMT (Lynda Thomas )

Is it illegal for a Florida moving company to charge a deposit?

There is no law to require you to pay a deposit but is it illegal in any way for a mover to require OR ask for a deposit in the State of Florida? A friend of mine is SURE that it is illegal for a company to charge a deposit at the State of Florida. Is it?

Aug 07, 16:00
Answer by tjohnson (Tim J.)

I'm neither a lawyer nor an expert on Florida law, but I doubt it. A deposit is a common practice for a whole host of services and products, it doesn't seem like the type of thing the government would try to make illegal.

That said, you should be EXTREMELY skeptical about paying a deposit. While deposits tend to be more common in big cities like New York, they're not frequently requested elsewhere. You might also see them during moving's busy season in the summer.

If you do get asked for one, it should be small, maybe $100 -- the moving company is probably asking for it to cover his costs in case you back out of the move at the last second.

A huge red flag is when the moving company asks for a significant upfront deposit, like 25%. This might indicate you're dealing with a moving broker: they will then keep this 'deposit' as their fee, and then you're left on your own to fend with the moving company's fees. It's generally never a good idea to work with moving brokers -- deal with the moving company itself.  

If you do pay a deposit, get IN WRITING the terms of the deposit's refundability.

Good luck with your move,

Tim J. @

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