Articles Tagged with security deposits

todd-quackenbush-222-copy-300x183Whether you are a new or experienced renter, you may not be clear on all of California’s laws regarding security deposits. You may have a gut feeling regarding what your landlord can and cannot do in regard to the deposit, but you may not be sure enough to speak up or enforce your rights. Your gut feeling may also not line up with state and local law. If you are a California tenant, be sure you understand your and your landlord’s rights in regard to security deposits.

What is a Security Deposit?

A security deposit is an upfront fee tenants pay to landlords in the case of non-payment or property damage caused by tenants or their guests. It is not rent. Under California law, landlords are entitled to ask for a security deposit upon move in and to use the deposit in the future for:

800px-For-rent-signIn Part II of our post on landlord-tenant legal issues, we answer your questions on security deposits, evictions, and unlawful detainers.

Rent and Security Deposits

A major expense most renters face is paying a rent or security deposit. Landlords can demand deposits equivalent to one to two months’ rent before a tenant moves in. In California, a landlord can charge the equivalent of two months’ rent for a security deposit if the premises are unfurnished, and three months’ rent if they are furnished. Landlords can tack on one-half month’s rent if the tenant has a waterbed. Security deposits cannot be nonrefundable in California.