Security Deposits

A security deposit for residential unfurnished property may only equal 2x the rent.

Under current California law, a security deposit for a residential unfurnished property may only equal two times the rent. If the residential unit is furnished, the landlord may charge up to three times the rent as security deposit. Moreover, a landlord may not collect more than six months’ rent in advance for any residential dwelling. Any amount of money that a landlord takes other than rent is a DEEMED a security deposit. A residential landlord may not collect a security deposit, cleaning fee, key deposit or any other funds that are deemed “nonrefundable.”

If a landlord attempts to withhold a security deposit, there are certain laws that must be followed and tenant’s rights that must be honored. At the Law Offices of Vincent W. Davis we can help you if you are having problems recovering your security deposit from a landlord. Contact us today to schedule an appointment regarding your security deposit problem.

When either the tenant gives 30 days written notice or the landlord gives 30 days or 60 days written notice, ( 60-days if the tenant has occupied the unit for more than a year) of termination of tenancy then the landlord must offer the tenant a pre-move-out inspection. This gives the tenant the opportunity to correct any deficiencies on the property before the security deposit is reduced by the landlord to cure any problems. Often times, landlords will demand that the tenants bring in professionals to correct a problem to meet the landlord’s standards, but this is not something that can necessarily be required.

Following a pre-move-out inspection by a landlord, a written explanation must be provided giving notice to the tenant of any defects at the conclusion of the inspection. Claims by the landlord must be reasonable and confined to the rental home or apartment unit. Once a tenant has vacated the property, the landlord has 21 days to refund the entire security deposit to the tenant. If the landlord withholds any of the security deposit, he must give the tenant written explanation in an itemized list detailing what exactly they are withholding money for, and why.

Landlords must also provide receipts and estimates for work. The landlord cannot make deductions from the security deposit for ordinary wear and tear on the unit that can be expected, based on the amount of time that the unit was occupied by the tenant.

Security Deposits Following A Foreclosure

Even in a foreclosure, the purchaser may have a duty to refund the security deposit to the tenant when the tenant moves out.

Security Deposits: Tenant Moving Out of Area / State

If a tenant is moving out of the area or even out of the state and suspects that the landlord will try to withhold security deposit money because it will be harder for the tenant to contest it as they will not be there to “fight” for its return, we can help you plan for this possibility. No matter what type of security deposit issue you are facing we can advise you of the best course of action. Tenant’s Right’s Attorney Vincent W. Davis can help you understand your tenants’ rights as well as the legal options available to you under the law.

Contact Us

For a consultation regarding recovering a security deposit or other landlord-tenant matter, call us today.

Please call our California Tenant's Rights Law Office at (888) 506-6810
OFFICE HOURS: Monday - Friday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
TELEPHONE HOURS: We attempt to connect you with an Attorney up to 10 PM ~ 7 Days a Week!

Law Offices of Vincent W. Davis

"You may not own it   —   But it’s still YOUR HOME"

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150 N. Santa Anita Ave,
Suite 200
Arcadia, CA 91006
Phone: (626) 446-6442
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Suite 300
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
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Los Angeles, California, 90013
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Long beach, California, 90802

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Irvine, California, 92614
Phone: (949)-203-3971
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City of Ontario, California, 91761

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Riverside, California, 92505
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San Diego, California, 92101
Phone: (619)-885-2070

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Ladera Ranch, California, 92694
Phone: (714) 721-3822