Day: November 12, 2023

California Limits Security Deposits to One Month’s RentCalifornia Limits Security Deposits to One Month’s Rent

How Much Security Deposit Can a Landlord Charge?

Security deposits are a great way for landlords to cover damage beyond normal wear and tear caused by tenants. However, there are laws in place that limit how much landlords can charge for a security deposit and when it must be returned.

New California law — Assembly Bill 12 — caps security deposits at one month’s rent for unfurnished properties and two months for furnished rentals. It also requires that landlords return deposits within 21 days alongside an itemized list of deductions.


A security deposit is a common tool that landlords can use to mitigate risk when renting out a property. The deposit protects the landlord against potential damages caused by the tenant, unpaid rent, and any other financial issues that may arise during the course of a tenancy. However, there are specific limits on how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit and these limits must be adhered to in order to avoid any legal issues.

The current limit in California for a security deposit is two months of rent for unfurnished homes and three months for furnished apartments. Landlords who wish to charge more than this amount must include this information in the lease agreement and provide the reason for the increased deposit. These reasons can include cleaning costs, damage in excess of normal wear and tear, or other financial issues. It is important for both landlords and tenants to understand these limitations in order to ensure that all parties are aware of the legal limit.

Landlords must also adhere to the laws governing the return of a tenant’s security deposit at the end of the tenancy. They must provide the tenant with an itemized list of deductions within 21 days after the tenant moves out along with a copy of any receipts for expenses incurred by the landlord. If a landlord fails to follow these guidelines, they could be subject to penalties from the state.

In addition, landlords must allow tenants to inspect the property before they leave. This allows them to verify that the apartment is in good condition and that any damage caused by the tenant has been repaired. It is also a chance for the tenant to ask any questions or concerns that they might have.

Changes to Security Deposit Limits

New legislation in California will limit how much landlords can charge for security deposits. The bill, which was introduced by Assemblyman Matt Haney, will cap the deposits at one month’s rent for unfurnished apartments and three months’ rent for furnished units. The move is aimed at making stable housing more affordable and accessible for Californians.

Security deposit laws are constantly changing through the passage of new legislation, higher court rulings, ballot initiatives, and more. It is important for both landlords and renters to be aware of these changes and to stay up to date with the latest regulations.

These updates will give both landlords and tenants clearer guidelines and protections, ensuring that all parties are operating within the law. In addition, the new timeline for returning a security deposit will benefit both parties by allowing tenants to receive their deposits more quickly and giving landlords a set time frame for processing paperwork and determining deductions. It is crucial for both parties to understand these changes in order to avoid any legal ramifications. By following the guidelines, both parties can have a positive experience during their rental tenure.

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