Security Deposit

Security Deposit

Under California law, a landlord can only require a maximum two months rent as a security deposit for unfurnished properties and three months for furnished units.

At the end of the lease, the landlord has 21 days to return the security deposit with an itemized list of damages for which any portion of the deposit is kept.

The tenant has the right to be present during the move-out inspection, which must be conducted at a reasonable time. To avoid last-minute problems, tenants should ask the landlord in what condition he expects the unit to be left. Then allow plenty of time for cleaning. The landlord may keep all or part of a deposit to pay for actual damages (not for normal wear and tear), unpaid rent, or lost rent due to the tenant moving out without adequate notice.

The tenant may not use the security deposit to pay the last months rent. Remember to give the landlord your forwarding address in writing. Otherwise, he may not be able to send your deposit.

A tenant may not use the security deposit to pay for the last months rent.

If the landlord has wrongfully withheld all or part of a deposit, the tenant may sue to recover up to three times the amount wrongfully withheld. A tenant may sue a landlord if all or part of the security deposit is wrongfully withheld.

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