Rental Security Deposit Laws

by Gerry Goodman on

Rental Security Deposit Laws – Knowing What To Give Back

When it comes to dealing with security deposits, many landlords can miss very important aspects if attempting to handle independently. As a Californian Landlord, you need to understand the rental security deposit laws within the state thoroughly before you begin the process.  Having the best rental property management team in Orange County CA, to help take this off your hands and ensure everything is being done to the state’s jurisdiction so you do not get caught out later down the line. However, here is the basic breakdown of this complex process to give you an insight into everything you should be aware of beforehand.

What can you charge?

According to rental security deposit laws in California, you can request a maximum of two months’ rent if the apartment is unfurnished or three months if the apartment is furnished. One thing to be aware of here is your market. If you are demanding the top end of the deposit allowance, you may scare potential tenants off. Working out who your market is and the risks involved will allow you to make an informed decision when it comes to the deposit. For example, if you are searching for middle-aged couples, the likelihood of you not giving them their deposit back is a lot lower than if your market was a group of first-year university students. If hiring the best rental property management team in Orange County CA, they will be able to apply their knowledge and database full of statistics to come up with a suggestion that will fit both you and the tenant.

Please note that you cannot charge a non-refundable deposit under rental security deposit laws in California.

Where must you store the deposit?

In California, the Landlord is responsible for storing the security deposit. This does not even have to be stored in a separate bank account and there is no requirement for written notice to the tenant after receipt of the security deposit. However, to maintain a strong relationship with tenants so that you minimize turnover, transparency is key. Making sure that you clearly state the terms of the rental deposit and how you will store it in the landlord tenant lease agreement, will avoid confusion or conflict later down the line.

Reasons for you to keep the deposit

Under rental security deposit laws, you are entitled to keep the security deposit, or a portion of it, if the tenant does not pay their rent. However, for this, you will need to follow stages to doing this under late payment notice legislation in California. You can also take a portion of the security deposit if there have been any damages to your property, if you require cleaning to be done to restore the property to what it was before the tenancy or to pay debts that tenants have incurred by violating the terms of the lease. The landlord is prohibited from using the deposit to fix any wear and tear to the property that was there beforehand.

Communicating with the tenant for any of these issues can become very volatile, especially if the tenant is reluctant to give up their deposit. Having the best rental property management team in Orange County CA take control of this is recommended, as they have plenty of experience handling troublesome tenants, and approach everything in a professional manner.

When should you return the deposit and how do you do it?

According to strict rental security deposit laws, the landlord must return the deposit to tenants within 21 days of them leaving the property. The security deposit has to include a statement that confirms with tenants, how much they have received of their deposit upon return and how much was given initially. If deductions have been taken from the deposit, these need to be itemized and explained inclusive of receipts to show the actual charges that were incurred from repairs. In the event that the repair work is yet to be complete, the Landlord must give an estimate.

How do you handle the deposit if you sell your property?

You have two options when it comes to rental security deposit laws and selling your property. You can transfer the deposit minus of any deductions incurred to the new Landlord. You are then responsible for making the tenant aware, in writing, of all important contact details of the new Landlord. You also need to provide both the new owner and the tenant a written notification including the amount of the security deposit and any deductions that have been taken.

The second option is to return the security deposit with any deductions made directly to the tenant. You, as the Landlord, then need to notify the new owner of your decision to refund the tenant with their deposit, the amount they received and any deductions that were taken.

Goodman Management Team – Best Rental Property Management in Orange County CA

When it comes to handling such tasks like this during a tenancy, many opt for the best rental property management team in Orange County CA because they simply do not have the time or the knowledge required. If you have a family, a career or just your own property to handle, the many components you need to understand, to ensure you are following legislation within California and to maintain a good tenant relationship can be overwhelming. Goodman Management Team has years of industry experience, and its dedicated hands-on team has made them one of the most trusted and best rental property management team in Orange County CA. Not only do they understand rental security deposit laws like the back of their hand, but they are fully aware of all laws involved under California jurisdiction.

Gerry and his team are well equipped with a number of skills, including engineering, plumbing, and electrician work. Therefore, to help reduce costs incurred by damages, including natural issues that occur in a property, they will go in and do the repairs themselves. This is a key factor that sets them above the rest of the property management companies in the area. Furthermore, they maintain great relationships with all clients and tenants, being the first port of call for any problems, resolving both efficiently and professionally.

Visit Goodman Management Team to find out more about the best rental property management team in Orange County CA and how they can turn your property into a lucrative investment.

Written by: Gerry Goodman