How Much Security Deposit Can A Landlord Require in California? – San Diego Landlord-Tenant Attorney

 At the beginning of a residential tenancy, almost all landlords require that their tenants pay a security deposit to account for unpaid rent, cleaning, and repair of the property. California law specifies the maximum amounts that a landlord can require for a security deposit. Those amounts depend on whether or not the property is furnished, and whether or not the tenant has a waterbed.

• For an unfurnished rental unit, the total amount for a security deposit that a landlord may charge is two times the monthly rent of the unit. If the tenant has a waterbed, this amount is increased to two and a half times the monthly rent.

• For a furnished rental unit, the total amount for a security deposit that a landlord may charge is three times the monthly rent of the unit. If the tenant has a waterbed, this amount is increased to three and a half times the monthly rent.

There are many other rules regarding the acceptance of security deposits in California. For instance, a security deposit can never be “nonrefundable” according to the lease, and many upfront costs that a landlord may charge a tenant for processing and renting the unit actually qualify as a part of the security deposit. If you have any questions on California’s security deposit rules and other landlord/tenant issues, please contact us at info@thevclawgroup.com or 858.519.7333.