There are laws in California that govern security deposits for residential rental agreements in California. For residential security deposits, landlords may not demand that a tenant pay a security deposit that is more than twice the monthly rent if the unit is unfurnished, or three times the monthly rent if the unit is furnished.
Furthermore, a landlord may demand cash as the only method of paying for the security deposit only in limited circumstances outlined in Civil Code 1947.3.
All residential security deposits must be refundable, except in the case when landlords may legally keep the security deposit as outlined in Civil Code 1950.5. Any provision in a residential rental agreement that says the security deposit is non-refundable is void and unenforceable.
If the property is in a rent-controlled area, additional restrictive laws may apply to residential security deposits.
The Law Office of David Piotrowski represents landlords throughout southern California and can assist with a tenant eviction.
Read Attorney Piotrowski’s “Landlord Best Practices and Eviction Overview” book.