Is it illegal to refuse or charge a tenant for a final walk-through in order to see how much of your deposit you will receive?

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Is it illegal to refuse or charge a tenant for a final walk-through in order to see how much of your deposit you will receive?

My apartment complex is refusing to let me do a final walk-through. They also tried to charge me for a few more days rent in order to set up a walk-through. Is this illegal?

Asked on July 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

They don't have to do a walk through with you.  They should, but there is no law requiring them to have you be present when they do a walk through.  Take a video camera and document the apartment (well).  Tell them you documented the apartment and expect your whole deposit back.

Let them inspect it on their own terms.  If they refuse to give you back your whole deposit, don't cash any check they give you and sue in small claims court. In your small claims case cite California Civil Code Section 1950.5.

California Civil Code Section 1950.5 says that if your landlord in bad faith retains your deposit, you can be awarded statutory damages equal to twice the deposit amount, in addition to whatever real damages are awarded.  That means if your real damages are the full deposit, you can be awarded up to three times the deposit amount in all.


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