What San Diego Landlords Need to Know About Security Deposits

What San Diego Landlords Need to Know About Security Deposits

There's nothing quite like seeing your income roll in as a rental property owner. It's safe to say that you'll definitely notice if a tenant pays late or misses a payment outright.

Luckily, security deposits aim to protect you from bad tenants who don't pay rent or damage your property.

To reap the benefits of collecting security deposits as a San Diego, California, landlord, you need to know the laws. Keep reading to learn them.

Maximum Security Deposit

The maximum security deposit landlords in San Diego can charge depends on the rent amount. Landlords cannot charge more than two months of rent as a security deposit.

Let's say the monthly rent amount is $1,500. If this is the case, you can't charge more than $3,000 for the security deposit. The maximum deposit amount could be different for each unit if your units have varying rental prices.

Landlords can request an extra deposit for pets unless they are emotional support or service animals. Under Fair Housing laws, renters with disabilities must be accommodated.

Security Deposit Deductions

Security deposit laws say that these fees must be refundable at the end of the tenant's lease. However, the laws also protect landlords from major damages and nonpayment of rent by allowing security deposit deductions.

In addition to nonpayment of rent and damages beyond reasonable wear and tear, you can deduce cleaning costs when the renter vacates the rental property.

Your rental agreement should mention these expenses so there are no disputes when returning security deposits.

When you hire a property management company, they will handle inspections, deductions, and security deposit returns for you.

Returning Security Deposits

A California security deposit must be returned to the tenant within 21 days of the lease ending. If tenants opt for a lease renewal, you can keep their original security deposit until they move out officially.

If you are deducting amounts from the security deposit, you must disclose this information to the tenant. Provide the tenant with an itemized statement of the deductions you make.

You can hand deliver this notification to the tenant or send it via certified mail. You don't have to provide a tenant with an itemized deduction if the deductions are less than $125.

Failure to Return the Security Deposit

If the landlord fails to pay the tenant their security deposit, they could be sued. Landlords might be required to pay up to three times the security deposit amount.

You must refund the deposit or provide deduction itemization within 21 days of the move-out date.

How Property Management Can Help

San Diego landlords must follow security deposit laws to avoid being sued in small claims court by their tenants. Understanding the laws can be difficult, especially if they change over time.

You don't have to handle security deposits alone. PMI San Diego is a full-service property management company providing owners like you with professional services.

For over 20 years, we've been collecting security deposits, keeping owners compliant, and offering our best services at a local level. We're ready to help you improve your investment in any way that we can.

Ready to get started? Contact us today!