Security Deposit Laws in California

In California, a security deposit for an unfurnished, residential rental unit cannot exceed 2 times the monthly rent. (Note that if a unit is furnished, the deposit can be increased to 3 times the rent). All deposit money must be refundable. California law does not allow a landlord to charge a non-refundable deposit. Even if the landlord calls it a nonrefundable “key deposit” or a “cleaning deposit” and includes the provision in the lease, it is still refundable. Because non-refundable deposits are illegal in California, such clauses are not valid and will not be upheld by a Court.

Continue reading