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Old 04-29-2008, 04:57 PM
 
227 posts, read 768,843 times
Reputation: 160
Default CA security deposit returned- 21 days from move out day or end of lease if you move earlier?

Does anyone know if the 21 day rule applies to the date that you move out, or the last day of your lease? We paid rent through the end of April, but we moved out and surrendered our keys on April 23rd. It's a $5,000 deposit, and I'd love to go shopping for the new house while my husband is out of town.
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:02 AM
 
Location: Norcross GA
983 posts, read 2,985,973 times
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Technically they have 21 days from the end of yr lease. Because they may not even go into the apt until the official last day and they won't start turning it until that point. So just add another 7 days to yr 21 days. By the way, I hope you did a final walk thru and got an estimate of deductions to expect.
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:25 AM
 
Location: On My Way Home
294 posts, read 707,393 times
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For us it was the day we moved out, we paid upto the end of the lease but moved out 3 days earlier, had the walk through and handed the keys in. The 21 days is from when you vacated the property not the end of the lease.
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Old 09-01-2008, 01:40 PM
 
516 posts, read 1,196,362 times
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CA civil code 1950.5 (g)(1):
Quote:
No later than 21 calendar days after the tenant has vacated the premises, but not earlier than the time that either the landlord or the tenant provides a notice to terminate the tenancy under Section 1946 or 1946.1, Section 1161 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or not earlier than 60 calendar days prior to the expiration of a fixed-term lease, the landlord shall furnish the tenant, by personal delivery or by first-class mail, postage prepaid, a copy of an itemized statement indicating the basis for, and the amount of, any security received and the disposition of the security and shall return any remaining portion of the security to the tenant.
21 days from vacating the premesis is backed up here too:
Rent Stabilization Board: Suggestions for Recovering Your Security Deposit (http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Rent/geninfo/tenkit/secdepten.html - broken link)
"California law provides that a landlord must return your security deposit (minus any authorized deductions) or written justification for why s/he is not returning it within 21 days of the day you permanently vacate the rental unit."

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Old 09-02-2008, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Southwest Austin
4,926 posts, read 9,569,874 times
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We've had this debate among property managers I know for years. Just to place my answer in context, I've been professionaly managing rental homes for 18 years, have accounted back 2,000+ deposits, have been drug to court only 3 times. I've prevailed in court every time, and no tenant has ever been awarded even a dollar.

That said, I stick to the date in the lease and ignore the actual vacate date. I understand the reasoning for the other side of the argument, and don't even disagree, but if someone wants to take me on over 2 or 3 days difference in the deposit return, bring it on - let's tango!

My reasoning is this:
It is unfair for the tenant to have the power to create a new or fuzzy timeline. Let's take this weekend for example. The last day of the month was Sunday Aug 31st. If my tenant, unbeknownst to me, drops the keys and forwarding address off at the end of the day on Friday the 29th, that does not impose upon me an obligation to take note of that date and it does not start the 30 day clock ticking. I go by the last day of the lease, which is indisputable and nonsubjective.

If I have 5 move-outs in a month, all deposits go out at the end of the month. I'm not going to try to keep some sort of tracking sheet telling me which tenant turned his keys in 4 days early or 2 days early. It's not practical.

So, though I think the other side of the argument is technically (maybe even legally) correct, the operational side of me refuses to change the way I do things. If some tenant gets bent out of shape enough to sue me, we'll find out what the judge has to say about it. I expect, more than anything, a Texas judge would view the matter as a waste of the court's time and resources and dismiss the case.

Steve
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:32 PM
 
516 posts, read 1,196,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austin-steve View Post
So, though I think the other side of the argument is technically (maybe even legally) correct, the operational side of me refuses to change the way I do things. If some tenant gets bent out of shape enough to sue me, we'll find out what the judge has to say about it. I expect, more than anything, a Texas judge would view the matter as a waste of the court's time and resources and dismiss the case.
That may work in Texas, but that's not the law in California. And I don't think your opinion about whether it's right or reasonable is going to make any difference to a California judge.

What I can't get over is how adverserial you seem to present landlord-tenant relationships. What ever happened to working together and being reasonable?
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Southwest Austin
4,926 posts, read 9,569,874 times
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Quote:
What I can't get over is how adverserial you seem to present landlord-tenant relationships. What ever happened to working together and being reasonable?
Hi Tony,

Thanks for letting me know that I come across as adversarial. I wasn't aware of that. I'll pay more attention to how I phrase things.

To answer your question, I've found that "working together and being reasonable" almost always results in the landlord being punished emotionally and financially.

I manage real estate owned by others, not just owned by me. They don't hire me to give tenants the benefit of the doubt, or second chances, which is essentially rolling the dice with their money. I'm paid simply to enforce the lease. After almost 20 years of doing so with many, many tenants, I've learned what works and what doesn't. This isn't a business where you make friends with tenants. 90% of tenants are excellent, great people. Many are not and they will walk right over an inexperienced, soft hearted landlord, as evidenced by the landlord hard luck stories littering these forums.

To be fair, there are an equal number of bad landlords. So tenants should be just as tough and unforgiving with their landlords as I am with those tenants who breach the lease.

Steve
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:54 PM
 
516 posts, read 1,196,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austin-steve View Post
Thanks for letting me know that I come across as adversarial. I wasn't aware of that. I'll pay more attention to how I phrase things.
No problem - I know I can be pretty abrasive too

Quote:
To answer your question, I've found that "working together and being reasonable" almost always results in the landlord being punished emotionally and financially.
My more recent experience has been when I tried to be reasonable and the landlords chose to be petty. Funny thing is, they're the ones who ended up "being punished". Go figure...

My parents managed half a dozen apartment complexes and a bunch of houses for many years. I've seen this mess from both sides. With that experience, I have absolutely no desire to get into the business.

Quote:
To be fair, there are an equal number of bad landlords. So tenants should be just as tough and unforgiving with their landlords as I am with those tenants who breach the lease.
But you have to admit that the landlords are more likely to have the resources - such as property managers and lawyers - to support their position than the tenants.

Bringing it back on topic, though - I think a big part of the problem comes from people (landlords and tenants) (a) following the lease, and (b) not following the law. And then, when something isn't exactly perfect, immediately trying to blame the problem on the other.

We all see things from where we are now. Keep in mind that I've had crappy landlords for the past 2-1/2 years and you'll understand why my sympathies tend to lean the other direction

Steve[/quote]
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:08 PM
 
1 posts, read 5,248 times
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I've had some crappy landlords that despite me adhering to lease and having apartment professionally cleaned, they have kept 85%-100% of my security deposit stating they had to use their designated professional cleaners and they always repaint and re-key locks after every lease term ends no matter what condition apartment or condo is in upon moveout. luckily i had pictures and video recording of before and after move in to take to court x 3 and judgment was in my favor!! i am a tenant in California but I am also a landlord for 3 properties out of state. i am fair and my property manager is fair too. my tenants tend to request to renew their lease over and over again because i make all repairs done timely, keep the properties nice, and return security deposits as per state requirements.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:24 PM
 
396 posts, read 456,604 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by libbykt View Post
It's a $5,000 deposit, and I'd love to go shopping for the new house while my husband is out of town.
Did you make an offer and put down earnest money without waiting for your spouse, lol!?!
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