El Monte, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: My roommates & I split the security deposit $170/each. How do we split it so that each person gets their money back?

My apartment includes 5 people, including myself, and we split the $850 security deposit between us so we each paid $170. Now another person and I will be renewing the lease while the rest of them are leaving. How do we split up how we repay each other for our portion that we contributed to the deposit? They are suggesting that each person who's leaving will be repaid by the rest of the people (4 people, meaning that each of those 4 will have to pay $42.50 back to the person who's leaving). From my calculations, this means that everyone will be at a deficit because everyone paid $170 in the beginning and they'll get $170 in total from the other roommates, but then each person will contribute $42.50 to whoever is leaving. Since I'm staying that means I'll be repaying my roommates a total of $127.50. That doesn't sound right to me, so how am I supposed to go about this?

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1 Lawyer Answer
John T. Kontrabecki
John T. Kontrabecki
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: This is not a legal question. It is a math question. If you paid $170 as one of 5 roommates and one withdraws, the remaining four roommates must pay you ($170/4 = $42.50 each) to return your share of the security deposit. If they rent to another roommate, then the new person will pay each of them $42.50 as his or her security deposit.

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