I appreciate your answers, but they seem to be contradictory.
My soon-to-be landlord is a property manager of the whole building. Is she required to put my deposit into an account completely separate from other funds, or not?
Deposits are supposed to be placed in a separate account and not co-mingled with their own funds. If the landlord has a California real estate license, they might be risking the license.
If the landlord isn't officially licensed, or using a licensed management company, you should still be able to get the deposit back when you move out.
In the future, always have a real estate professional to review your lease. I would also advise that you have a move-in and move-out check list. This will protect both you and the landlords interest when it comes to moving out, and determining whether to keep all or a portion of the deposit.
In San Francisco, tenants are entitled to interest on their deposit. The interest rates is set annually by the Rent Board. It's current. 0.4%. You can see it at