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Security Deposits

Ensure That Your Security Deposit is Protected

Putting down a large security deposit when you move into a new rental house or apartment, especially if you are a young tenant, can potentially be stressful. But what can be even more stressful is putting down that kind of a deposit and then doing your best to ensure that you will get that security deposit back when you move out of the rental property, only to end up with an unfair loss after leaving the rental property. As a tenant, it is vital that you make sure your landlord is following and complying with deposit protection rules before you decided to put down a deposit on the rental property.

The best way to do this is to ask the landlord upfront how he or she handles the disposition of a security deposit. You can simply communicate that you want to make sure that your deposit is going to be protected. Another great thing to do would be to get it in writing that your security deposit will be returned to you when you move out if there are no damages and if your deep cleaning meets your landlord’s standards. A good way to protect yourself is to do a Move-in Check-in list and to take pictures or a video of the condition of the property when you take possession of your new home.  It is easy to be excited and distracted when your moving in, however taking the time and doing a thorough walkthrough and noting any issues is the foundation for when you move out of the property. The move-in check-in list is key to protecting from unnecessary charges and having your security deposit returned to you. 

As property managers in Redding who have over twenty years of experiencing managing properties in Redding and Shasta County, we would like to help answer any questions you may potentially have about security deposits.

  • How much can your landlord charge you for a deposit? A landlord cannot charge more than twice the amount of a rent payment for a security deposit.   Security Deposit
  • What can my landlord deduct money from my security deposit for? If you owe back rent or if you have damaged the rental house or apartment, your landlord can deduct money from your deposit to cover those costs. These kinds of damages can include broken windows, holes in the wall, damaged furniture, damaged floors, damaged appliances, etc.
  • Can I use my security deposit to cover my last month’s rent payment? You cannot use your security deposit to cover your last month’s rent payment unless your landlord has agreed to it. Either way, you should not plan on doing this because you do not want to get in the habit of using your security money to bail you out of a rent payment.
  • Can my landlord use my security deposit for routine upkeep? No, your landlord cannot use your security deposit for normal wear and tear. This can include a worn carpet or chipped paint.
  • When does my landlord have to return my security deposit?  California Law provides that the disposition of a Security Deposit must be sent out or postmarked within 21 days from the receipt of the keys. The landlord could be held responsible for up to three times the Deposit if this deadline is not met.  It is important to track your days as a landlord and a tenant.  

If you have any questions or would like more information on how you can best protect your security deposit as well as how you can maintain a great relationship with your landlord, feel free to call us at 530-410-6085! We do property management in Redding and Shasta County and would love to help you in any way we can!

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Posted by: joline on August 5, 2016