Legal News / Iron-Law

Landlord's Responsibility for Renters Security Deposit

Via: ReleaseWire

Updated 1:59 PM CDT, Thu, April 30,2015

Security Deposit Issues In California

San Marcos, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/30/2015 -- Iron Law is an eviction service based out of San Marcos, California; serving all of San Diego County, Riverside County, and Orange County. We are the home of the $599 eviction, and will match all prices of their competitors. A recent interview of their eviction coordinator relating to security deposits sheds insight into the landlord's responsibilities and how a mistake can cause liability of three times the deposit.

A security deposit is any money a landlord takes from a tenant other than the advance payment of rent, says Stephen Gonzales, a forensic investigator for Iron Law. The security deposit serves to protect the landlord if the tenant breaks or violates the terms of the lease or rental agreement. It may be used to cover damage to the property, cleaning, key replacement, or back rent.

Gonzales explains, there are limits on the amount of the security deposit:

-If the security deposit is for a residential property without furniture, the security deposit may equal 2 times the rent.

-If the residence is furnished, the landlord may charge up to 3 times the rent.

-There is no restriction on the amount of the security deposit for the rental of a commercial property.

Cases seeking return of a security deposit are usually handled in small claims court. They cannot generally be dealt with in an eviction (unlawful detainer) case since, in an eviction, possession of the property is still at issue.

After a tenant moves out, a landlord has 21 days to:

-Return the tenant's deposit in full, or

-Mail or personally give to the tenant:

-A written letter explaining why he or she is keeping all or part of the deposit,

-An itemized list of each of the deductions,

-Any remaining refund of the tenant's deposit, and

-Copies of receipts for the charges/deductions, unless repairs cost less than $126 or the tenant waived (gave up) his or her right to get the receipts. If the repairs cannot be finished within the 21-day period, the landlord can send the tenant a good faith estimate of the cost of repairs. Then within 14 days of the repairs being done, the landlord must send the tenant the receipts.

A landlord can deduct from the tenant's security deposit:

-The cost of fixing any damages to the property caused by the tenant or the tenant's guests. This does not include ordinary wear and tear.

-The cost of cleaning the unit when the tenant moves out, but only to make the unit as clean as it was when the tenant first moved in (less reasonable wear and tear).

-Unpaid rent (including rent owed if the tenant does not give the landlord the proper notice that he or she is moving out).

About Iron Law
Rental investments can be very difficult when your tenant becomes litigious. At Iron Law we protect Landlords by documenting the damages, and providing an accounting for all deductions from the security deposit. It is important to have an unbiased person document the damages when a person threatens litigation. Iron Law offers just the service.

Iron Law
663 South Rancho Santa Fe. Rd. Ste. 345
San Marcos CA 92078
Tel: 844-476-6529

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Bobby L. Rutan
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