I am being asked to pay 1st and last ($2025 x 2 months rent and a deposit of the same as rent ($2025) but carpets are stained and walls not painted.

Asked by dreamn1o1, San Diego, CA Thu Jul 11, 2013

They have asked me to pay a deposit of $2025.00 and they told me no matter what when I move they would keep $250.00 for cleaning. But before I even move in the carpets are stained all over and the walls look like they were never painted. He said his tenant was there for 7 years. Can you rent it the way it looks. I love the place and the area but its dirty and I don't know if he can even rent it this way.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Alan Kurpiew…, , California
Mon Jul 15, 2013
Just to clarify on the security deposit...

See page 25 on the CA Tenants renters book - http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/catenant.pdf

The owner/landlord can require you to pay a security deposit equal to TWO MONTHS rent for an unfurnished unit (two-and-a-half if you have a waterbed), and a security deposit equal to THREE MONTHS rent for a furnished unit (three-and-a-half with waterbed). This would be IN ADDITION to first month's rent.

SO, while the landlord is requesting 1st and Last month's rent, plus a security deposit equal to one month's rent, this IS allowed so long as the contract states you are paying FIRST MONTH'S rent plus a security deposit equal to TWO MONTHS rent. It's all in the language of the contract...

As far as the condition, I echo what has been said before me. Be concerned if the landlord refuses to make the unit "satisfactory" up front, because it's only going to get worse. Also, if you do decide to move in regardless, DOCUMENT EVERYTHING on move in. Don't make it into "he said, she said" when you are having to go to court to get your security deposit back.

Good luck!!

Alan Kurpiewski, Realtor®
CA BRE 01912043
(619) 35-HOUSE
(619) 354-6873
0 votes
Hector Gaste…, Agent, Coronado, CA
Fri Jul 12, 2013
Nobody is forcing you take it. Take pictures, make sure the owner acknowledges in writing the condition you are receiving the property in.

Hector R. Gastelum
Realty Executives Dillon
REALTOR #01382940
efax 619-270-2516
0 votes
Neil Fjelles…, Other Pro, San Diego, CA
Fri Jul 12, 2013
Generally speaking the rental can be turned over to you in whatever condition you're willing to accept. The choice you have is to first decide what's acceptable to you and second to document on the move-in inspection form the current condition of every item noted as part of your walk through. All parties need to sign off. You will usually be asked for first month plus deposit of a similiar amount; rarely is the last month included as well. This additional deposit is being requested but again, it is an item of negotiation that you may accept or reject. If you are being charged $250 non-refundable cleaning deposit then you should expect that the same is being done in preparation for your move-in right? Maybe they can prove that it has been professionally cleaned? In all these matters you have right to refuse and walk away or renogotiate to your liking. Once you accept these conditions then you must live with your decision. Educate yourself BEFORE you obigate yourself http://www.RentSenseBlog.com
Web Reference:  http://www.fbs-pm.com
0 votes
Kari Shea, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Jul 11, 2013

Take all of the advice offered and know there are legal avenues you can pursue. Look at http://californiarentersrights.org. There may be legal hotlines you can call as well.

Best of luck,

Mark & Kari Shea
Shea Real Estate
National Association of Realtors
CA DRE License 01713506
0 votes
Wesley Guest, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Jul 11, 2013
Document everything. Assuming you do decide to lease the property, be sure to document any stains, damage, or other impurities to the carpets and any marks, discoloration, or holes in the walls. You do not want the landlord coming back at the conclusion of your lease and assigning any of the existing damage to you. This is easily done with a detailed move in / move out damage and condition worksheet (landlord may have one or many versions are available online). Also, take lots of pictures which is very easily done with your smart phone.

On a side note, if it's that bad move on and find a new rental. There is no shortage of rental property in Pacific Beach. If the landlord is not willing to replace carpet and paint after the previous tenant was there for 7 years, I would be wondering how they will react when new issues arise??

Good luck,

Wesley Guest
Broker Associate
(619) 379-7675
CA DRE LIC# 01855519
0 votes
Robert Boern…, Agent, El Cajon, CA
Thu Jul 11, 2013
I have to say there is a lot of inconsistent information regarding tenant and landlord rights and obligations. Landlords often include terms which are not legal in hopes the tenants won't know any better or won't bother to argue with them.

In California, a landlord may hold a security deposit equal to two months rent for an unfurnished unit or three months rent if it is furnished.

As far as condition, you are expected to return the unit in the same condition as when you took possession less normal wear and tear. Legally, there are very minimal standards as to what condition a property needs to be maintained before making it available for a new tenant.

If you want the unit and the landlord has limited tenant options, negotiate to get what you want. If the landlord is not willing to budge, move on to the next one and know that you saved yourself some headaches.
0 votes
Beth Collins, , San Diego, CA
Thu Jul 11, 2013
Don't give them any money until you see that the unit is thoroughly cleaned, painted and the carpet has been changed. If they aren't going to do that, don't move in. What are they doing with the previous tenant's $250 cleaning fee? Dorene is correct.

Beth Collins
(858) 204-3845
BRE #01325192
0 votes
Frederick Re…, Agent, SAN DIEGO, CA
Thu Jul 11, 2013
Hi...you can go to google and put in "California landlord tenant law"...pull up the pdf which has EVERYTHING regarding your rights and what is allowed and not allowed. You will find out that a landlord CAN NOT ask for "last months rent" anymore. Hey can ask for first months rent + a security deposit not to exced a months rent only. As far as the condition...its up to you whether to accept this or not. Always take pictures before moving in and when leaving to substantiate a record of actual condition.

Frederick Remick
Meridian Capital RE
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Thu Jul 11, 2013
Dear Dream,
I would not move into a place that is not properly maintained by the landlord. Before a tenant moves into a property the carpets should be changed, it should be thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom( including windows) and it should be freshly painted (bare minimum).
If the management has so little regard for these basic things, you can be sure they will drop the ball with landscaping, repairs and other necessary things. Keep looking for a lease property where they care!
0 votes
Thank you for your reply. I gave a deposit but I have not signed any paperwork yet, will I still be able to get my deposit back. The other strange thing was he told me that no matter what that when I move he will be keeping $250.00 for the cleaning fee. I just have never heard of that before, especially telling me in advance that he was going to charge me regardless if I got it cleaned.
Flag Thu Jul 11, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more