+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 15 of 15
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By FarmerJ

Thread: Landlord failed to return deposit within 21 days

  1. #1
    krissyl105 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    2

    Landlord failed to return deposit within 21 days

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CA

    Our landlord failed to return our deposit back within 21 days. I called the property management and told them they were past the deadline and I would be requesting a full return on my deposit. The property manager said her boss had not yet signed the papers and "I sure seemed to know the law..." and to call back in two days. The next day I followed up with a letter via fax and certified mail stating my request - noting CA law regarding the 21 day rule.

    Two days letter they sent a partial return on my deposit with a list of itemized deductions, a few of which I do not agree with.

    What should I do? They did not return my deposit within the time line. How do I get the rest of my deposit back?? Don't they lose the right to keep any of the deposit if they do not return with 21 days?

    I'm so frustrated!
  2. #2
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    snowland
    Posts
    11,145
    If you have pictures that show something other than what the LL claims , then the best place to dispute the amount held and ask for full refund based on LLs non compliance with the law is small claims court. If you dont have good proof but go to small claims court it will be a crapshoot as to outcome with the possible exception of the LLs failure to address deposit with in 21 days.
  3. #3
    krissyl105 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    2
    CA law says the LL have to return deposits full/partial within 21 days. Our LL did not do either within the 21 day timeline. Doesn't that negate their right to keep the deposit?
  4. #4
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    snowland
    Posts
    11,145
    AGAIN `the best place to dispute the amount held and ask for full refund based on LLs non compliance with the law is small claims court`
  5. #5
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ho Ho Ho, Wouldn't YOU like to know ;)?
    Posts
    7,817
    Quote Originally Posted by krissyl105 View Post
    CA law says the LL have to return deposits full/partial within 21 days. Our LL did not do either within the 21 day timeline. Doesn't that negate their right to keep the deposit?
    The answer is YES. If LL fails to comply with the legal requirement to either return the full deposit or a partial refund with a detailed and itemized list of deductions, they forfeit the right to make ANY deductions from the deposit and must return the full deposit.

    You've already made them aware that you know your rights. Now it's time to make a formal demand for the remaining deposit amount due to you, which must be made IN WRITING within 14 days of having received that partial refund with accounting. Once that time passes, if LL fails to comply with the law and refund the deposit balance, you will need to sue them in small claims court to recover the money. Also, if LL has made any unjustified deductions, you may seek an additional amount in your lawsuit of up to 2 times the total deposit amount as a "bad faith" penalty.

    For details on the specific legal requirements regarding return of security deposits, see the following website:

    [url=http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/sec-deposit.shtml]California Tenants - California Department of Consumer Affairs[/url]

    Good luck to you.
  6. #6
    chuck126 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by krissyl105 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CA

    Our landlord failed to return our deposit back within 21 days. I called the property management and told them they were past the deadline and I would be requesting a full return on my deposit. The property manager said her boss had not yet signed the papers and "I sure seemed to know the law..." and to call back in two days. The next day I followed up with a letter via fax and certified mail stating my request - noting CA law regarding the 21 day rule.

    Two days letter they sent a partial return on my deposit with a list of itemized deductions, a few of which I do not agree with.

    What should I do? They did not return my deposit within the time line. How do I get the rest of my deposit back?? Don't they lose the right to keep any of the deposit if they do not return with 21 days?

    I'm so frustrated!
    I would hold unto the check and not cash it, as they may claim you accepted the check as what is due to you on your SD and thereby acknowledging the deductions they made.
    Does your state require you to object via certified letter RRR to the LL withholding your SD within a certain number of days?
  7. #7
    Hot Topic is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    5,226
    Did you give the landlord your forwarding address before you moved? Some people don't. The refund then has to go through more than one set of hands at the post office before it reaches you. If that's the case, and the refund takes longer than 21 days, you can't hold the landlord to the 21 day rule.

    If you dispute the deductions, you need to have dated photos to back you up.
    Last edited by Hot Topic; 02-16-2010 at 06:22 PM.
  8. #8
    elainesylvester is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    2

    Wink Thank you! I followed advice and got whole security deposit returned.

    I had been out of the home I had rented for 31 days, and I had not received any of my security deposit or any notice of why my landlord withheld it from me. After reading several posts from your site, I realized he needed to have given me a full return of my deposit, or a written notice of why he was holding out some of it before 21 days. That is the law?
    Well, I wrote him a letter Requesting the Full Refund of My Security Deposit. In the letter I reminded him I had vacated the house and put the address of the house I had rented, and the date I had vacated. more than 21 ago, it was actually 31 days, and that by law he needed to either give me a full refund of my deposit or a written statement telling me why he had not returned any of my deposit within 21 days.
    I sent the landlord the letter by certified mail with return receipt.
    In the letter, I let my landlord know I was aware of the law, and that if he did not return my entire security deposit within 7 days of my receipt of the receipt then I was going to proceed with court. I signed it, dated it, and included my new address.
    Well, I got a call from his brother. His brother sent me the security deposit back. The letter made my landlord angry.
    I wanted to thank you, because I know we deserved to get the whole deposit back, and I sure did not know what to do. Thank you for being there with this site to draw information from, it was very helpful!
  9. #9
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    54,349
    In THIS case, you LL nothing wrong. YOU failed to provide a forwarding address, as required.

    Quote Originally Posted by elainesylvester View Post
    I had been out of the home I had rented for 31 days, and I had not received any of my security deposit or any notice of why my landlord withheld it from me. After reading several posts from your site, I realized he needed to have given me a full return of my deposit, or a written notice of why he was holding out some of it before 21 days. That is the law?
    Well, I wrote him a letter Requesting the Full Refund of My Security Deposit. In the letter I reminded him I had vacated the house and put the address of the house I had rented, and the date I had vacated. more than 21 ago, it was actually 31 days, and that by law he needed to either give me a full refund of my deposit or a written statement telling me why he had not returned any of my deposit within 21 days.
    I sent the landlord the letter by certified mail with return receipt.
    In the letter, I let my landlord know I was aware of the law, and that if he did not return my entire security deposit within 7 days of my receipt of the receipt then I was going to proceed with court. I signed it, dated it, and included my new address.
    Well, I got a call from his brother. His brother sent me the security deposit back. The letter made my landlord angry.
    I wanted to thank you, because I know we deserved to get the whole deposit back, and I sure did not know what to do. Thank you for being there with this site to draw information from, it was very helpful!
  10. #10
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    54,349
    The interesting thing is that if the former tenant sues in SCC, then the LL can COUNTERSUE for actual damages.
  11. #11
    jdm2008 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    The interesting thing is that if the former tenant sues in SCC, then the LL can COUNTERSUE for actual damages.
    Your point is? The landlord can sue for whatever he wants regardless of any suit from the tenant.
  12. #12
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    54,349
    Quote Originally Posted by jdm2008 View Post
    Your point is? The landlord can sue for whatever he wants regardless of any suit from the tenant.
    I'm sorry you can't see the point.

    The point is, let's say the tenants have a $1,000 deposit, but do $2,000 worth of damage. The tenants can sue for their $1,000 deposit, but the LL can countersue for the $2,000. The net effect? The tenants will end up PAYING $1,000 MORE.

    Get it now?
  13. #13
    cp0654 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    In THIS case, you LL nothing wrong. YOU failed to provide a forwarding address, as required.


    if you don't provide a forwarding address, by law the LL must send the deposit or an itemized statement, copies of invoices or receipts, and any good faith estimate to the address of the rental unit that you moved from:

    Civil Code Section 1950.5(g)(6) - Any mailings to the tenant pursuant to this subdivision shall be sent to the address provided by the tenant. If the tenant does not provide an address, mailings pursuant to this subdivision shall be sent to the unit that has been vacated.
  14. #14
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    54,349
    Quote Originally Posted by cp0654 View Post
    if you don't provide a forwarding address, by law the LL must send the deposit or an itemized statement, copies of invoices or receipts, and any good faith estimate to the address of the rental unit that you moved from:
    Yes, I know that.
    In this case, we had no evidence to show the LL didn't do this.
  15. #15
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    snowland
    Posts
    11,145
    CP0654 the original posting here was in 2010 your reply to it after this long is considered to be necroposting, (reviving the dead) you are free to make a whole new posting if you feel the need for assistance but please do not necropost (or we will have no choice but to start singing the casper song & contribute to noise pollution)
    quincy likes this.

Similar Threads

  1. Landlord didn't return/respond to security deposit w/in 30 days
    By teacher123 in forum Landlord / Tenant Issues
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-11-2011, 04:09 PM
  2. Ex-landlord failed to return security deposit - complicated!!
    By mysticpenguin in forum Landlord / Tenant Issues
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-16-2009, 12:11 PM
  3. landlord didn't return security deposit within 21 days
    By thatgirl70 in forum Landlord / Tenant Issues
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-08-2009, 08:07 PM
  4. 14 days past deposit return date. MANY OTHER ISSUES
    By lsentz in forum Landlord / Tenant Issues
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-24-2003, 01:19 PM
  5. 30 Days to return deposit?
    By SKJS01 in forum Landlord / Tenant Issues
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-01-2001, 07:20 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.