How long does a landlord have to return your security deposit?

Asked by , Menlo Park, CA Sat Jul 19, 2008

What if they don't give back some or all of it within 21 days? Do you have the right to demand ALL of it back then? For instance, I vacated the premises on June 1st...by law the landlord is required to either return all or some of my deposit based on how the rental was left within 21 DAYS. If they need more time to obtain estimates, than they give me back a good faith estimate. Well my landlord did not give me an itemized list until 24 days AFTER I vacated. She then hit me with ridiculous itemizations (e.g. missing fork, new house plant due to underwatering, an entire new dining room table & chair set, etc). Also, NONE of these itemizations were substantiated with proper receipts/invoices as required. She sent those to me another two weeks after June 24th. Consequently, I requested my FULL deposit amount back since she was in violation of not following proper protocol regarding the 21 day rule I'm taking her to small claims court to sue for my entire deposit back. Who's right here?

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5
Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Sun Jul 20, 2008
BEST ANSWER
California code 1950.5 is the leading cause of landlords being sued in samll claims court. Everyone should be clear on the law and very specific on the condition of the property.
Answer the question it's 21 days to get you the deposit back or a statement of costs that were charged to you.
Look at the document I liked below. See if you have the neccessary documentation and then either contact an attorney, sue in small claims or contact one of the many tenants support groups.
1 vote
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Sun Jul 20, 2008
WOW it depends on how the contract was authored. How did you receive landlord response? Was it post marked 21 days however you received it on the 24th? I would think she needs to have receipts in order for the deductions. Sorry to hear this. http://www.lynn911.com http://www.homes-for-sale-dallas.com
2 votes
Diane Wheatl…, Agent, Upland, CA
Sun Jul 20, 2008
You nailed it!! And you will be the prevailing party. Hopefully you can collect your judgement without further hassle. Great job so far! Good luck.
1 vote
eden, Renter, West Los Angeles, CA
Sun Mar 8, 2015
I deposit $ 2.500 for my dog on 3-2014 .....with the old owner , now they sold the building , i dont have dog any more. i asked the new owner for my dog deposit, the answer was.....when u move u will get all together . is that the right answer ??? i don't planning to move yet. do i ave to wait few more month or years ????
0 votes
, , Menlo Park, CA
Thu Jul 31, 2008
Thanks everyone for your support and feedback! I did see the link on the California code 1950.5 and the landlord is definitely in violation. She hand delivered the itemized list (with no attached receipts) to my office on June 25th (which the date is stated on the list). Unfortunately the California code is unclear what happens now...since she didn't comply with the 21 day mark does that mean that I am entitled to ALL of my deposit back?

I filed a claim in small claims court and have a date coming up in 3 weeks. She in turn filed a counter claim for an additional $1500 of absolutely bogus claims saying that there was excessive wear and tear (which there definitely wasn't). It's so unfortunate I have to expend time and energy on this whole thing...
0 votes
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