Security deposit deductions are sometimes a source of conflict between tenants and landlords. It’s important that you understand what they are, what you can use them for, and how you are required to return them.

What is a Security Deposit?

A security deposit is an amount of money that a tenant gives to a property owner or a management company before moving into a property. Usually, it matches the amount of one month’s rent. Legally, it cannot exceed the amount of two month’s rent. This money is held to pay for any damages that are found at the end of the rental period. Security deposits cannot be used to pay for normal wear and tear, but the money can be used for unpaid rent, property damage that goes beyond regular wear and tear, and anything else the tenants legally owe you after they move out.

What to Do with Security Deposits

In most cases, a security deposit is placed in a trust savings account. Check your local landlord and tenant laws. Some cities require you to give the tenants any interest you earn on the security deposit. You’ll be required to return that money to the tenant at the end of the year.

Image of Zahid Jahania owner of the companyIf you have any questions about security deposits, please contact us at California Pacific Realty. We would be happy to help you understand the security deposit laws or take care of any of your Oakland property management needs.