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  1. #1

    Default Breaking a Lease, Application of Security Deposit to Last Month's Rent

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California

    Today is Thanksgiving and my tenants have told me they are splitting up (husband, wife and 3 kids), and
    will be moving out early from a 1-year lease to make living arrangements over 2 apartments.

    The lease was supposed to expire in May 2014.

    Here is what they want and here is my question:

    • The husband has asked that I use the deposit to cover the proposed last month of the rent (December) so
    that they can use current funds to get them both situated apart from each other. (There is no damage to the house
    whatsoever (I inspected the place today) so I will not need to charge them anything).

    • The Question... Is there any legal paperwork I should submit? A 30-day notice or anything? I'm ok with them leaving
    early from the lease (I sympathize with their needs). They are already packing and may even be out earlier than Dec 31st.

    Thanks in advance, as usual!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Breaking a Lease, Application of Security Deposit to Last Month's Rent

    When you choose to let the deposit be used for rent, you leave yourself without protection in the event that you find damage after your tenants move out or if they stay longer than expected. If you're comfortable with that, as they say, it's your money.

    I don't know if you feel the need to cover yourself by serving a pay-or-quit notice, just in case they don't move out as agreed. You don't have to do anything more than properly document to them that their deposit is being applied to their rent debt, consistent with the security deposit law.

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