Riverside, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: Can I use my security deposit towards my last months rent during the pandemic?

I need to move due to my rent being increased by 53%.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: First, this could be an unlawful rent increase. Check the civil code, I believe that your LL cannot raise the rent more than 10-15% per year, and they have to give you proper notice. Check Civil Code around section 1941. Next, about your security deposit, no, you cannot legally use this for last months rent, BUT, many people do. You have a right to a pre move out inspection and a written statement of items to be cleaned or repaired before you move out. Take lots of photos of the property when you are ready to move out, in case LL says you caused damage. IN ADDITION, if you have been in the property for more than one year, you may be entitled to a move out allowance equal to one month's rent. Often the LL just waives your payment of the last month rent to take care of this. You have a number of issues to discuss with a local tenant's rights attorney, suggest you contact one.

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