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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    5

    Default Security Deposit in California

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: CA. After giving 30 day notice, my landlord asked if I wanted an initial inspection before moving. It was scheduled but after it was completed, he did not identify any problems or cleaning that needed to be done. But at the final inspection he pointed out numerous things that needed repair and would be deducted from my security deposit. After the final inspection, I sent a demand letter for a full return of deposit based on not leaving an itemized list of repairs after the initial inspection. And, we witnessed new tenants moving in on the 11th of the month. My questions are, 1) am I right to expect a full return of my deposit? 2) Is the 21 day waiting period calendar days or business days? and 3) since new tenants moved in on the 11th, does the 21day waiting period still even apply? Thanks for any help you can give.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    492

    Default Re: Security Deposit

    You may want to seek relief at a small claims court. Retaining a copy of the "initial inspection" report will be helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Security Deposit

    I expected a more in depth answer then that. I could have guessed this much. For the record, I was never given a "initial inspection report" and if I cant get a better answer then "seek out small claims court" then I'm sorry I wasted anyone's time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    492

    Default Re: Security Deposit

    Here is some information that may be of help.


    What is small claims court?
    Small claims court is a special court where disputes are resolved quickly and inexpensively. The rules are simple and informal. The person who sues is called the plaintiff. The person who is sued is called the defendant.

    Who can sue in small claims court?
    Any mentally competent person who is:

    * 18 year old or older, OR
    * an emancipated child.

    If you are:

    * not mentally competent, OR
    * under 18 years old (and not emancipated),

    a judge must appoint an adult called a guardian ad litem to represent you in small claims court.

    How much money can I ask for?
    An individual cannot ask for more than $7,500 in a claim. Corporations and other entities (like, government entities) cannot ask for more than $5,000. You can file as many claims as you want for up to $2,500 each. But you can only file 2 claims in a calendar year that ask for more than $2,500.

    You can only sue a guarantor for up to $4,000 ($2,500 if they don't charge for the guarantee). But, if you are a natural person filing against the Registrar of the Contractors' State License Board you can sue a guarantor for up to $7500. A "guarantor" is a person who promises to be responsible for what another person owes.

    Do I have to pay to file?
    Yes. The fee is based on the amount of your claim and the number of claims you have filed in the past 12 months:

    If you have filed 12 or fewer claims in the past 12 months:
    Amount of your claim: Filing Fee
    $0 to $1500 $30
    $1500.01 to $5,000 $50
    $5000.01 to $7,500 $75

    If you have filed more than 12 claims in the past 12 months, the filing fee is $100 (for any claim amount).

    Can I bring a lawyer?
    No, a lawyer can't represent you in court. But you can talk to a lawyer before or after court.

    How long do I have to wait to go to court?
    You will go to court between 20 and 70 days after you file your claim.

    What kinds of cases go to small claims court?
    There are different kinds of cases. The most common are: car accidents, property damage, landlord/tenant rent deposit disputes, and collection of money owed.

    What will happen at my hearing?
    The judge will listen to both sides of the story. To help tell your side, bring evidence like:

    * Witnesses
    * Photos
    * Bills
    * Receipts
    * Contracts
    * Other relevant documents that support your side

    The judge may make a decision at your hearing, or mail it to you later. Instead of a judge, you may have a commissioner or temporary judge at your hearing. They are both just like judges. A temporary judge (called a "judge pro tem" or "judge pro tempore") is a lawyer who hears and decides cases. If you don't want a temporary judge, you can ask the court to have a judge hear your case. You may have to come back another day. Click here to find out how to get ready for court.

    Can I appeal the judge's decision?
    You can't appeal if you were the one who filed the claim. If someone else files a claim against you and you lose, you can appeal.

    Source: www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/smallclaims/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Problems Identified on Final Inspection, but Not Listed After Initial Inspection

    My question was not about small claims court.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Problems Identified on Final Inspection, but Not Listed After Initial Inspection

    The law is outlined here.

    The big questions are (a) did the claimed damage exist at all, (b) if it exists, did you cause it or was it pre-existing, and (c) was there some reason it might have been missed at the time of the initial inspection (e.g., hidden by objects or furniture) or did the damage occur after the inspection?

    It's 21 calendar days.

    (I haven't figured danielpalos out, either.)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    492

    Default Re: Problems Identified on Final Inspection, but Not Listed After Initial Inspection

    If you don't have any documentation, you may have to prove an oral contract or agreement with the other party.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Problems Identified on Final Inspection, but Not Listed After Initial Inspection

    According to the California dept of Consumer affairs, the landlord must give an itemized list of needed repairs or cleaning that needs to be done to prevent any deductions from the security deposit, upon completion of the "Initial Inspection". Sounds that this "list" should be more than just a verbal...to protect both parties.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Problems Identified on Final Inspection, but Not Listed After Initial Inspection

    This may go faster if you ignore Mr. Palos.
    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    The big questions are (a) did the claimed damage exist at all, (b) if it exists, did you cause it or was it pre-existing, and (c) was there some reason it might have been missed at the time of the initial inspection (e.g., hidden by objects or furniture) or did the damage occur after the inspection?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Problems Identified on Final Inspection, but Not Listed After Initial Inspection

    well how a bout reading my first post of questions and see what you can come up with. thx

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