California Security Deposit Law

California security deposit law is governed by state law, which provides protections for both landlords and tenants. In California, landlords are permitted to collect a security deposit from tenants, which is designed to provide financial protection against any damages to the rental property caused by the tenant during their tenancy. The following are some key provisions of California security deposit law:

Limitations on the amount of the security deposit

In California, landlords are generally permitted to collect a maximum of two months’ rent as a security deposit for an unfurnished rental unit or three months’ rent for a furnished unit. Landlords may also charge an additional amount for pets, as long as the amount is reasonable.

The time frame for returning the security deposit

California law requires landlords to return the security deposit to the tenant within 21 days after the tenant moves out. If deductions are made from the security deposit, the landlord must provide an itemized statement explaining the deductions.

Permitted deductions from the security deposit

California law allows landlords to deduct amounts from the security deposit for unpaid rent, cleaning costs, and repairs for damages beyond normal wear and tear. However, landlords are not permitted to deduct for normal wear and tear or for damages caused by the tenant’s children or guests.

Requirements for security deposit accounting

California law requires landlords to maintain separate bank accounts for security deposits and to provide tenants with written notice of the name and address of the bank where the deposit is held. Landlords are also required to provide tenants with a receipt for the security deposit at the time it is collected.

Penalties for violations of the security deposit law

Landlords who violate California security deposit law may be subject to penalties, including fines and damages for tenants. Tenants who feel their rights have been violated can sue for the return of the deposit, statutory damages, and attorneys’ fees.

Overall, understanding California security deposit law is essential for both landlords and tenants to ensure that they are in compliance with state law and are protected against financial and legal issues. By working with a property management company, property owners can benefit from the expertise and experience of professionals who can help to navigate California security deposit law and avoid common mistakes.


(209) 627-0257



44 W 11th St, Tracy, CA 95376