Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

We leased a home to rent in Westwood, CA, and put the corporation we worked for and were some of the owners of, as the name on the residential lease. It was fine and there were no issues. We paid rent each month with individual checks, not corporation checks. Several years later, when we moved out, the landlord turned out to be dishonest. He did not return our security deposit that we paid with our own funds, separate from the company, and he used the money inappropriately. We are writing to the landlord to explain that he didn't follow Section 1950.5. We want to deal with him directly. Since the lease is in the name of the corporation and it clearly names us as the residents, isn't it a procedure that the corporation or company CEO can write a letter to the landlord letting him know to work with us directly, and when resolved, refund the security deposit to us directly. It seems it is going to take some effort and time to get back our deposit, and I need to know if we do it as an assignment from the company name to us (the residents) is that the way to accomplish what I am seeking, or do you feel that the CEO writing a letter to the landlord should suffice, letting him know to deal with us. Thank you for your help.

Asked on 9/18/13, 6:10 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
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If the home were leased to the corporation and the corporation made the deposit, the landlord is entitled to deal with the corporation regarding the final accounting and refund of the deposit. Has the landlord done this, or attempted to do so? If he has, he's not dishonest. The real question in my mind is that you start by saying "We leased" when apparently it was the corporation that leased the home, and you were merely acting as its agent.

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9/21/13, 6:04 pm

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