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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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Handling Tenants Security Deposits

Helpful Hints to Handling Security Deposits

Money security concept

Before tenants move into a rental home or apartment, landlords usually ask for a security deposit. Why? Security deposits are often used to cover potential damages to the rental property. As a landlord, it is vital that you require a security deposit from your tenants. The last thing you want is to find out that something in your rental home or apartment has been damaged and you do not have the funds to repair it. Taking a security deposit from your tenants will ensure that you will be covered if damages do occur. So what are some helpful hints for handling security deposits? As property managers in Redding who have over 20 years of experience managing rental properties in Redding, we would like to help you as a landlord by offering some of our personal tips on handling security deposits below!

  1. Determine the amount – most landlords require one or two months rent up front as a security deposit. However, it is different for every landlord. It is important that your amount for your security deposit be determined by what you think you would need in order to cover a major damage as well as what your tenants can afford to pay up front. Requiring too large of a security deposit can potentially decrease your chances of finding tenants, depending on what their current level of income is.

  2. Do not commingle funds – as a landlord, it is important that you do not commingle your security deposits with your personal funds. When you are dealing with other peoples’ money, it is best to have separate accounts for those funds so that you don’t end up accidentally spending some of it because it was mixed in with your personal funds.

  3. Know what your state requires – every state has different requirements when it comes to rental properties and security deposits. Some states require that interest is accrued on tenants’ security deposits. It is important that you look up the requirements for your state and implement those requirements into how you will handle your security deposits.

Keeping these things in mind will really help you as a landlord to keep things organized as your handle your security deposits. If you would like more information on how you can best manage your security deposits, it may be helpful to either talk to or hire property managers for your rental properties. A property manager will oversee and manage the critical tasks for your rental properties such as finding tenants, taking and managing security deposits, making sure rent payments are made on time, keeping the property in top-notch shape, and managing communication between you and your tenants. If you feel that it would be a good investment for you to hire a property management company to take care of these tasks for you, Authority Property Management does property management in Redding and would love to help you!


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Tips for Landlords on what a security deposit may be used for

What a Rental Security Deposit Can and Can’t Be Used for in Redding CA

There was a time when landlords could give every vacated rental property the white glove test and keep large portions of tenant’s deposits for the slightest infraction, those days are long gone. California rental law has tipped in the favor of tenants, and it is very specific about how and what deductions can be withheld from a security deposit. As a landlord, the best way to protect yourself is to know and understand the law and do everything by the book.

According to California rental law, there are only four reasons that landlords can withhold money from a security deposit. (more…)