Andrew Wilki…, Trulia Community Manager in San Francisco, CA

Can a landlord use the money from my deposit for other purposes, or does it have to stay in an account until I move out?

Asked by Andrew Wilkinson, San Francisco, CA Fri Feb 1, 2013

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Andrew Wilkinson’s answer
Thanks Steve and Jeff for your input.

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?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 1, 2013

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.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 1, 2013
There is no requirement that deposits are maitained in a separate account under California law. if the deposit is held by a property manager, there may be DRE rules which govern how such funds are kept, but that is a regulatory matter betweent the licensee and the DRE, and does ot create, in and of itself, a cause of action against such broker by the tenant.

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
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 1, 2013
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