What to do if my landlord is trying to keep my entire deposit?

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What to do if my landlord is trying to keep my entire deposit?

After moving out my landlord sent me a disposition of deposit stating he was keeping all $1700 ($1300 security + $400 pet) I asked for more detail and he told me that for his brother was who he hired to clean the house. He charged me $36 an hour for labor and charged me $50 for a house inspection they did while we were living there. Additionally, they said the pet deposit was non-refundable. Finally, because we weren’t out until 4 pm on the first, they were going to charge us the whole rest of the months rent. Is this legal?

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

Answers:

Eric Ridley / Law Offices of Eric Ridley

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Most of the answers you need should be included in your lease. Check to see. Typically, your landlor cannot withhold for th eentire month, unless s/he was unable to re-rent the property over that entire period of time. 

With regard to the labor charge and the inspection, see if your lease provides for those. $36/hr for cleaning is not unreasonable, but it's a bit high. I would be more concerned about the rent. IF he put someone into the property at any point during that month, s/he is not entitled to retain rent for the period when someone else was paying it.


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