What are leasing basics everyone should understand? Pt. 2

In our past post we began a discussion about the real estate issue of leasing law. The laws of leasing impact people on various levels. There are renters of residential properties and commercial properties. Then, there are the landlords or owners of those properties. 

No matter which party you are within a leasing relationship, there is a matter we didn't present in the last post that will apply to you. Security deposits generally are an integral aspect of most leasing agreements and can be the cause of many contract disputes.

Regulations related to security deposits vary from state to state. We have compiled some basic concepts for you to think about, as well as some that are specific to California's security deposit regulations:

It is a general rule that there is a limit to the amount that a landlord can require for a security deposit.

California law states that a non-furnished residential property can demand a security deposit of two times the rent. A furnished property can demand as much as three times the cost of rent. A commercial property in California is governed by a more liberal rule. Landlords can require any amount for a security deposit. 

A leasing contract also states how long a landlord has to repay the remaining deposit.

In California, the specific rule is there is a 21-day deadline to return the tenant's security deposit. This area and reasons why a deposit might not be repaid in full can lead to legal disputes. 

In our next post, we will provide more details about security deposits, the rights of tenants and the responsibilities of landlords in California.

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