Santa Barbara, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for California

Q: When in time can the California residential landlord make a deduction from the security deposit for unpaid rent?

Is the answer only at the end of the lease period or can it be during the lease period? If the answer is only at the end of the tenancy and not during the tenancy then that seems to make the landlord a savings and loan/credit organization of sorts and if so what are the finance charges the LL can add on, especially if it happens a few times early on or are those the costs the landlord has to bear if he chooses not to evict and even if he chooses to evict we are back to the same question to some degree...? Is there a proper and clear legal answer?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
James L. Arrasmith PRO label
Answered
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The landlord can only deduct from the security deposit at the end of the tenancy. Until then, they must hold the security deposit money in trust.

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