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Home » Apartment & Condo Management » Why Landlords Must Have a Security Deposit

Why Landlords Must Have a Security Deposit

As a landlord, when you agree to rent your apartment, you are entrusting a future tenant with valuable property that likely impacts your financial future. Unfortunately, even the most careful and selective landlords rent to unfit, and in some cases, disrespectful tenants. To protect you from tenants who refuse to abide by your lease terms, it is vital that you require a security deposit. Harland Property Management in San Diego offers information about security deposits in California and how they can act as a safeguard against troublesome renters.

The security deposit is typically equivalent to rent for one month. Under California landlord-tenant laws, a renter may be charged up to two months of rent for the security deposit if the apartment is unfurnished, and up to three months of rent if it is furnished. Per California law, a landlord can also add an extra half months rent if the tenant moves into the unit with a waterbed.

There are two main reasons that landlords should require a security deposit:

  1. Damage to the Premises – Security deposits are designed to protect landlords from damage done to the property that goes beyond normal wear and tear. Typically, upon signing a lease, have your tenant fill out an inspection sheet of the home. Therefore, when the tenant moves out and damage is found, they will be accountable for the repair cost.
  2. Leaving a Lease Agreement without Notice – A tenant must give their landlord a 30 day notice for leaving a rental in California. Oftentimes, this notice is not given and the tenant skips out early on their lease without paying for the full month. In this situation, a security deposit enables you to collect the rent amount, giving you the time needed to find a new tenant.

Guidelines to Returning a Renter’s Security Deposit

In California, the landlord must return the renter’s security deposit within 21 days. The 21 day period begins after the renter has returned the keys and vacated the property. If deductions were made, when the security deposit is returned there must also be an itemized statement of the deductions and the cost per deduction.

Apartment rental management requires more than simply collecting rent.  Apartment managers must be sure to comply with all tenant-landlord laws of California, file necessary annual paperwork and are in charge of maintaining the property as well as tenant relationships. At Harland Property Management, we understand that this can be an overwhelming task. We offer comprehensive rental services to help individuals manage multi-unit properties and provide expert advice on how to market and price your apartment in the San Diego property market. To learn more how we can help protect your property and increase your monthly rental income, contact us at 858-367-0343.