I would address it on a one by one basis as you contact each rental. Explain your situation and offer the additional deposit. You might also ask a family member to co-sign a lease with you. I had to do that at one point in my life.
It is a good idea to NOT have the security deposit and the rental amount the same. As a landlord, I want tenants to understand that they are entirely different things, that they will get back their security deposit, with interest, if they turn the place back over to me in the same condition as in which they received it. And I don't want them to think they can use it as the last month's rent. If I get into that habit, I could inspect a place after they vacate and find damage done and will no longer have the security with which to repair it. It is important to make these things absolutely clear at the beginning of the tenancy.... more
I can't speak to either legal questions or California, but here in New Jersey the landlord has complete flexibility except for the amount of the security deposit. I understand your friend's dilemma, however, as both a realtor who handles rentals and a landlord, I see the owner's position as well. There is something to be said for having the security of knowing you won't have a vacant unit for a specified period of time. And I understand why they would ask for a premium for a month to month situation. That is why you pay less for a magazine subscription rather than purchasing the same magazine at the newsstand.
Your friend shouldn't pressured, however. They are also free to propose a compromise. Perhaps a 6 month lease for a per month increase of less than $75. Give it a try and see what the landlord says. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain.... more