Is it normal for landlords to ask for first and last month and one month rent as security deposit payable upfront?

Asked by Clark, Fremont, CA Thu Sep 27, 2012

I was under the impression that it could be only two of the three.

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Maria Cipoll…, Agent, Coral Springs, FL
Thu Sep 27, 2012
The residential rentals are growing so fast in US due to the real estate market crisis. Normally, Landords can ask for first, last month and in some cases up to two months security deposit, depending of your personal financial condition and the price of the rental.

Best of Luck,

Maria E. Cipollone
1 vote
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Fri Dec 21, 2012
Helloo Clark,

First months rent and a security deposit is all you should be asked to pay. Perhaps your landlord is not aware of this.

Best of luck to you!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Mon Oct 1, 2012
"A landlord may not demand or receive security, however denominated, in an amount or value in excess of an amount equal to two months' rent, in the case of unfurnished residential property, and an amount equal to three months' rent, in the case of furnished residential property, in addition to any rent for the first month paid on or before initial occupancy."
0 votes
Michael Koen…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Thu Sep 27, 2012
It may be normal for a landlord to ask for that, but that's not totally allowable as per California Law. This is very common mistake many landlords make.

As mentioned below by Brian and Michael, a landlord can charge 1 month's rent up front and also collect a security deposit (which may be equal up to 2x the monthly rent).

Therefore, the amount this particular landlord is asking for upfront may actually be correct; but his terminology is incorrect. Make sense?

Good luck home hunting!

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0 votes
Brian Ripp, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu Sep 27, 2012
I also believe they can not charge 'last months rent' up front, however, they can charge up to or equal to 2 months rent for the 'deposit'.

What I typically do is charge for the first month and then a deposit approx. 1 1/2 time the monthly rent for the security deposit.

0 votes
Pacita Dimac…, Agent, Oakland, CA
Thu Sep 27, 2012
Perfectly normal, and perfectly fair.

You always pay rent one month in advance.
And if the renter leaves, any damage he caused may be resolved with funds from the security deposit. Sometimes, the deposit isn't even enough to cover some of the damages or replacement. So some landlords are protecting their property by making sure they have enough funds for repairs.

If there is no damage, and the property is in as good a shape as it was when it was rented, the likelihood is high that the full security deposit is returned to the renter
0 votes
Michael Tess…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu Sep 27, 2012
Actually I believe in California it is against the law to collect last month's rent but a reasonable deposit and security are acceptable but when the rental market is tight and it's not be managed by a professional property manager who knows California Law then I guess they can get away with it if all parties agree.
Since you are in Fremont you might want to call and talk to a property manger like Carl Fox at Mission Property Management since he does this for a living
Good Luck
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Thu Sep 27, 2012
What would you do if were the landlord?
They're trying to week out flakes and drifters;
Just make sure you make copies of the Checks and documents; four years from now you won't remember what you did.

ps. you aren't mailing it to him; are you?

Good luck and may God bless
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