Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in California


We're moving out on the 19th this month but when we paid our month online on 5/3, the amount wasn't adjusted for a partial month. I stupidly figured I could follow up with the office first thing in the morning; wanted to make the payment to avoid the late charge.

Now I'm being told that I have to wait until we move out, 5/19, to get the $700 we're owed credited back to our account. Is this legal? Can they hold my funds like this, especially when they already have a $1200 security deposit for repairs and cleaning? Thank you.

Asked on 5/09/17, 9:33 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

The short answer is "yes they can do this," because there is nothing you can do about it legally in ten days, two of them weekend days. Technically what they have done is taken an additional deposit without sufficient notice. Since the deposit they already had sounds like it was only about one month's rent, they could legally double the deposit if they had given adequate notice. So your only remedy would be a small claims action for taking more deposit without notice. There is no way you can get a small claims judgement before the 19th; it takes more like a few months just to get the paperwork done and get a hearing date. So you are right that what they did is not strictly legal, but it is too small an amount for too short a time for there to be a legal remedy for it.

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Answered on 5/09/17, 1:03 pm

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