My question involves a security deposit in the State of: California
Hi there. My roommates and I have a problem with deductions from our security deposit for a lease on a California apartment that ended 5/31, and weíd really appreciate your input or advice.
We gave our 30 daysí notice to the landlord as specified in our lease, but we received no written notice of our right to an inspection and itemized statement of necessary repairs and cleaning. As such, we werenít aware of our rights, although we tried to fulfill our responsibilities by having a member of the building staff check our apartment on the last day of our lease. At that time, we received no written statement of damages or necessary cleaning. To the contrary, the agent praised the condition of the apartment and our efforts in cleaning it. We had nothing in writing and were given to believe that we would get our full deposit back.
Yesterday, we received a partial refund of our deposit with a statement of deductions for painting and cleaning. (There was also a small deduction for our final utilities bill, which we donít dispute.) About $515 was deducted for repainting, cleaning, and carpet shampooing. Since we hadnít had any written notice, we were very surprised by this.
Having read CA Civil Code section 1950.5, itís clear that our landlord failed to give written notice of our right to an initial inspection. Itís also clear that because of this, we did not have an opportunity to make any necessary repairs or cleaning because we were not notified of any damages, but told that the apartment was in great condition. The law says that the landlord can only deduct for damages after the initial inspection if the damages occurred after the inspection, if the damages couldnít be seen because of our possessions, or because the tenant failed to make repairs to damages that were identified in the inspection. None of these conditions apply. Does this mean that the landlord is not entitled to make deductions from our security deposit?