Can my landlord keep part of my security deposit because I had a yard sale on the property in the past?

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Can my landlord keep part of my security deposit because I had a yard sale on the property in the past?

N damage was done to the property and 2 other tenants also participated. The manager knew of the yard sale and wanted to participate as well.

Asked on March 22, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A tenant's security deposit may only be withheld for the following reasons:

1) The tenant (or the tenant's family, pets, or guests) damaged the landlord's property; the landlord may apply part or all (as necessary) of the deposit to repairs.

2) The tenant moved out or was evicted owing rent; the landlord can apply the deposit to unpaid rent.

There are no other grounds for keeping a security deposit, including other lease violations (assuming that the yard sale violated some lease provision). So in regards to the yard sale, the key issue would be, did it do damage to the property?


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