Important Facts About California Landlord-Tenant Law

  1. What Can Be Deducted From a Security Deposit in California?
  2. Landlords can deduct any unpaid rent. If a tenant or a tenant’s guest damages the property, the landlord can also deduct the cost of repairs from the security deposit. Landlords can’t deduct for ordinary wear and tear.

  3. Is There a Limit on California’s Security Deposit Amount?
  4. Yes, but only for residential rentals. California law dictates that security deposits for unfurnished apartments cannot exceed two times the amount of monthly rent. For furnished apartments, the security deposit may equal up to three months’ rent.

  5. When Do Security Deposits Have to Be Returned in California?
  6. Under California rental law, landlords have 21 days after a tenant moves out to return the security deposit by mail or personally deliver a letter explaining why the landlord is keeping part or all of the security deposit.

  7. What Is the Maximum Late Fee for Rent in California?
  8. California law states that a late rent fee should be “reasonable,” though it does not set any restrictions when it comes to a maximum late fee for rent. Generally, a reasonable late rent fee in the state is considered 5% to 10% of the cost of rent, with most California landlords charging 5% for any late rent payments.

  9. How Much Can Landlords in California Raise Rent?
  10. California landlord-tenant law prohibits landlords from arbitrarily raising rent year to year. California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill in 2019 mandating statewide rent control, and from now until Jan. 1, 2030, California law limits increases of rent to 5% each year plus inflation.

  11. Under California Laws, When Can a Landlord Evict a Tenant?
  12. California law still allows for the eviction of problem tenants, should the tenants fail to pay rent on time or refuse to comply with the lease agreement. Landlords can evict renters who become serious nuisances to other tenants, disturbing them even after they’ve been asked to stop. They can also evict tenants who inflict major damage to the property or use it to do anything illegal.

  13. Do Landlords in California Conduct Criminal Background Checks?
  14. Landlords in California do have the right to run background checks on prospective tenants. According to the Federal Trade Commission, they have the right to check your credit score, criminal history, and rental history.

Kong Property Management Group provides property management and leasing services to the greater part of Silicon Valley. We specialize in single-family homes, condos, townhomes, duplexes, as well as apartment buildings. Based in San Jose, Kong Property Management Group is a local and family-owned business with over 15 years of combined experience in residential property management, real estate sales, and appraisal.