What to do if state law and a rental agreement conflict?

UPDATED: Feb 3, 2012

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What to do if state law and a rental agreement conflict?

My landlord has a provision in the rental agreement that states he has 60 days to return our security deposit or an itemized list of why he is keeping the deposit. State law states he has 21 days. Does this supersede his agreement?

Asked on February 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Good question. Since the state law requirement is more restrictive with respect to the 21 day period for the landlord to return a former tenant's security deposit, the state law time period of 21 days will supsersede and trump the 60 day time period stated in the lease.

The reason why is that the state statute of 21 day time period to return the security deposit of a former tenant and/or an itemized list as to why all or a portion of the security deposit is being kept is due to the fact that the statute you are writing about is designed to protect the former tenant.

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