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  1. #1
    thaddeus333 is offline Junior Member
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    Question Landlord is refusing to send payment for security deposit

    What is the name of your state? Ca
    I sent my landlord a demand letter for my security deposit for a residence that I vacated in the 31st of december. She had her lawyer contact me through the mail stating that if I contacted the landlord again he would file for a restraining order. He said that someone was vandalizing the contractors that she has working on the condo, and then he insenuated that this might be my doing and that they will be keeping a watch on the property. He said all further correspndence would have to be through him. What can I do? Why is her lawyer part of this?
  2. #2
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaddeus333 View Post
    What is the name of your state? Ca
    I sent my landlord a demand letter for my security deposit for a residence that I vacated in the 31st of december. She had her lawyer contact me through the mail stating that if I contacted the landlord again he would file for a restraining order. He said that someone was vandalizing the contractors that she has working on the condo, and then he insenuated that this might be my doing and that they will be keeping a watch on the property. He said all further correspndence would have to be through him. What can I do? Why is her lawyer part of this?
    If the Landlord has retained an attorney you must now communicate with the attorney .
    I would send the Attorney a response , citing the Security Deposit regulation below , and advise the Attorney you will be filing suit against the Landlord . ( if you just want the actual SD amount , state unless you receive it within 5 business days you will file suit for any and all damages allowed by law ) .
    I would also state any claims of suspected vandalism after the move out are baseless and without merit , and you will not tolerate any public accusations that you have done so .

    However after the amount of time has expired and the landlord does not follow Security Deposit regulation , sue the Landlord through the Court .



    2. Security Deposits

    There is no longer a formal distinction among tenant deposits, i.e., security, cleaning, last month rent, pet, key, waterbed deposits, etc. California recognizes only a unitary security deposit. This is defined as any advance payment to the landlord to be used to remedy defaults in rent payments, repair of damage to the premises exclusive of normal wear and tear, cleaning upon vacation by the tenant, or to restore damage to specified landlord personal property in the custody of the tenant where the rental agreement so provides. Landlords may not charge any non-refundable deposits or "fees" {Civil Code Sec. 1950.5}.

    The statute implies, but does not explicitly require, that this deposit be held separate by the landlord. Payment of interest is not required by State law, but several local jurisdictions do require it. Landlords who own rentals in Berkeley, Cotati, East Palo Alto, Hayward, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, Watsonville and West Hollywood must pay interest to tenants on deposits. Call the applicable rent board, city clerk or apartment association for further information or requirements.

    The security deposit may not exceed three months' rent if the premises are rented furnished, two months rent if they are rented unfurnished. An amount equal to an extra one-half months rent if the tenant has a waterbed {Civil Code Sec. 1950.5}.

    Within three weeks (21 days) of the date the tenant vacates the landlord must provide an accounting of any charges to the deposit in writing. The landlord may not charge for repairs, cleaning, etc., above and beyond reasonable wear and tear. The accounting may be mailed to the tenant's last known address together with any refund due. Failure to do this in bad faith subjects the landlord to any actual damage suffered by the tenant, as determined by the court, plus statutory damages of up to $600 {Civil Code Sec. 1950.5}.

    When the landlord sells the property, before title passes, he must elect to refund any unused portions of tenant deposits to the tenants, with an accounting similar to the one mentioned above, or to transfer the unused portions of such deposits to the new owner through escrow, together with such accounting. Failure to do so subjects the new owner to joint and several liability with the old owner to any aggrieved tenants for damages {Civil Code Sec. 1950.5}.
    Last edited by BL; 02-08-2007 at 02:40 PM.
  3. #3
    thaddeus333 is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you very much for your help, how does this look?

    My address and info here

    February 8, 2007


    Dear Mr. A(attorney),

    Please be advised that due to the following Civil Code Sec. 1950.5, which states: “Within three weeks (21 days) of the date the tenant vacates the landlord must provide an accounting of any charges to the deposit in writing. The landlord may not charge for repairs, cleaning, etc., above and beyond reasonable wear and tear. The accounting may be mailed to the tenant's last known address together with any refund due. Failure to do this in bad faith subjects the landlord to any actual damage suffered by the tenant, as determined by the court, plus statutory damages of up to $600 {Civil Code Sec. 1950.5}.” I will be filing suit for any and all damages allowed by law against B( landlord) if I do not receive the payment of within 5 business days.

    Furthermore any claims of suspected vandalism after the move out are baseless and without merit, and I will not tolerate any public accusations that I, or anyone of my acquaintance have done so.


    Sincerely,


    My name here.
  4. #4
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    The landlord MAY charge for damages BEYOND reasonable wear and tear. You have it that he may not.

    Edit:
    1950.5 (b)(2)
    The repair of damages to the premises, exclusive of ordinary
    wear and tear, caused by the tenant or by a guest or licensee of the
    tenant.
  5. #5
    acmb05 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    The landlord MAY charge for damages BEYOND reasonable wear and tear. You have it that he may not.

    Edit:
    1950.5 (b)(2)
    The repair of damages to the premises, exclusive of ordinary
    wear and tear, caused by the tenant or by a guest or licensee of the
    tenant.
    Usually if the landlord did not follow the proper procedure in returning the deposit he cannot now go back and charge for any repairs. He forfeits that right when he did not send the deposit or letter stating why he was witholding any or all of it in the proper time frame. However if the OP were to ask for more than the deposit amount in small claims the owner could then countersue for damages.

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