Security Deposits

How much security can a landlord charge?


Upon move-in a landlord may charge an amount equal to two months rent for an unfurnished unit. (Three months for a furnished unit.) Therefore, where there is an unfurnished unit renting for $600, a landlord may charge a first month rent and a $120O security deposit for a total of $1800.


When does the security deposit have to be returned?


The landlord has 21 days to itemize and return that portion of the security deposit, if any, to the tenant. A written statement should be prepared and mailed to the tenant. If you do not have the tenant's new address, you must mail it to the unit that the tenant vacated. If the envelope comes back, do not open it. This will be the best proof that you have complied with the law.


What can be deducted from the security deposit?


You are allowed to deduct for the following items:

  1. Rent or other charges owed under the rental agreement.

  2. Reasonable cleaning charges.

  3. Unusual wear and tear to the unit.

  4. Be conservative when making deductions from the security deposit. You are allowed to deduct for the cleaning of the drapes and the carpeting. However, you should not deduct for painting unless it constitutes unusual wear and tear.


    Receipts are now required!


Under the new rules you are required to give receipts for items or service performed where deductions exceed $125. If you are deducting for labor, keep time sheets of the hours worked and the rate per hour. Watch the Video



Our Law Firm Will Now Prepare the Security Deposit Itemization Form!

If you prefer, our firm will prepare this security deposit form for a fee of $300. Please call Attorney Manya Thomasian of our office and she will assist you.


Dennis P. Block and Associates

Greater Los Angeles Office

 5437 Laurel Canyon Blvd., 2nd Floor

Valley Village, CA 91607

Email Questions On Existing Cases To:

(include the property address)

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Phone: 800 77 EVICT (38428)

Fax: 323 938-6069


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