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Security Deposits

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REAL ESTATE
October 8, 2000 | DIANE WEDNER
Renters who can't come up with hefty security deposits required by most property managers at move-in time now have an alternative. It's called Deposit Saver, and registration is available online. Rather than paying an upfront security deposit, usually equal to one month's rent, Deposit Saver allows renters to pay a monthly fee of roughly $20, greatly lowering their move-in costs.
ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
February 9, 2014 | By Anky van Deursen
Question: I have lived in my apartment for six years. Just recently, a friend told me that I should have been receiving interest on the $2,000 security deposit I paid when I first moved in. Over all these years, the interest should have added up to a lot of money. Am I too late to sue for the unpaid interest? Answer: If you have a written rental agreement, the good news is that you have four years to file a case in Small Claims Court or any other court for money owed as a result of your security deposit, for example, failure to refund it. If you have an oral agreement, even if there aren't many details other than the amount of rent and the amount of the security deposit, you have two years to file a case.
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REAL ESTATE
January 5, 2003
Los Angeles has revised its rules on the interest that owners of rent-controlled housing are required pay on security deposits. A landlord is not required to pay interest on deposits for Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2002. For 2003, an owner will pay interest based on either a 1% rate or the actual amount of interest earned. The changes were made in response to a city attorney recommendation.
BUSINESS
December 23, 2013 | Marc Lifsher
Employers, especially owners of small businesses, are about to see increases in their workers' compensation insurance bills. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones looked at the $14-billion-a-year market and advised that premium increases of 6.7% would not be out of line for policies that take effect after Jan. 1. The state's largest carrier, the government-run State Compensation Insurance Fund, plans to raise its rates roughly 6.5% beginning in March....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 1992 | SHERRY JOE
The Oxnard Housing Authority on Tuesday agreed to increase security deposits by 20% for present tenants and 134% for newcomers and those who fail to maintain their apartments. The new rates are effective immediately, but a 30-day review and comment period will begin April 1. The new security deposits range in price from $60 for a studio to $360 for a five-bedroom apartment.
REAL ESTATE
June 20, 1999
The June 6 Rent Watch column, "There Are Limits Set for Security Deposits" from Project Sentinel, fails to discuss the ramifications of rent control on security deposits. In Southern California, the cities of Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica and West Hollywood all have rent-control laws. In these cities, if a property is subject to the rent-control law, a landlord may not unilaterally change the terms of the rental agreement to charge a security deposit when none has previously been charged.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 27, 2002 | JOCELYN Y. STEWART, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Earlier this month Gov. Gray Davis won praise for signing a bill that requires landlords to give tenants 60 days notice before terminating a lease, rather than 30 days. Now renters are asking for a repeat, calling on Davis to sign legislation that would change how landlords handle security deposits.
REAL ESTATE
October 20, 1996 | From Project Sentinel
QUESTION: I live in an apartment building that was recently sold. I gave the new owners a 30-day notice and will be moving out at the end of the month. However, they informed me that the previous owner never transferred my security deposit to them and that they are not responsible for returning it when I move. They also implied that they will be asking existing tenants to put down a new deposit. Can they do these things?
REAL ESTATE
June 7, 1992 | KEVIN POSTEMA, Postema is the editor of Apartment Age Magazine, a publication of The Apartment Assn. of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA), an apartment owners' service group
QUESTION: I live in Sacramento and I have a few questions for Apartment Life. If a landlord requires a tenant to pay the first and last month's rent, plus a security deposit, can he raise those deposits (last month and security) when he raises the rent? If not, is the last month's rent the amount initially agreed upon or is it the rental amount prevailing at the time of move out? Also, is the landlord required to pay the tenant any interest on those deposits?
REAL ESTATE
August 27, 1989 | KEVIN POSTEMA, Kevin Postema is editor of Apartment Age magazine, a publication of the Apartment Assn. of Greater Los Angeles, an apartment owners' service group. Mail your questions on any aspect of apartment living to "Rentformation," Apartment Assn. of Greater Los Angeles, 621 S. Westmoreland Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 90005-3995.
QUESTION: I am new to California and was shocked to find that my security deposit on a $500-a-month-rent apartment was $1,000, meaning I need $1,500 just to move in. Isn't there a law protecting tenants from such exorbitant move-in costs? How can those strapped for cash meet these high move-in costs? They seem grossly unfair to me.
BUSINESS
September 6, 2013 | By Martin Eichner
Question: My wife and I moved out of a house that we were renting. We gave the owner a proper 30-day written notice. It has now been more than 30 days since we vacated and turned over the keys to the owner. We knew that we were supposed to receive the refund of our security deposit within 21 days after we vacated, so we recently contacted the owner. He apologized and said he hadn't returned our deposit because he had lost our forwarding address. Is this an acceptable excuse for ignoring the 21-day rule?
BUSINESS
December 23, 2012 | By Martin Eichner
Question: We recently moved out of a house that we were renting. Our lease stated that the tenant was required to have the home and carpets professionally cleaned upon vacancy. We offered the landlady $350 from our deposit to hire a company to clean the house to her liking. When we received our refund, we saw that she deducted this amount from our security deposit. However, by then I had driven back to our rental to pick up my remaining boxes. When I was there, I saw that our landlady had painters repainting the entire house.
BUSINESS
December 25, 2011 | By Martin Eichner
Question: In these tough financial times I think a lot of people (myself included) are considering renting out part of their home, if not already doing so. I haven't been successful in trying to look up what the law says about renting a room or part of your house. I read this is different from renting a duplex or regular rental property. Can you provide any guidance? Answer: Your question is timely because many homeowners facing mortgage or other economic stresses are looking at room rentals as an option to increase their income.
BUSINESS
August 7, 2011 | By Martin Eichner
Question: I moved out of an apartment more than three years ago. I knew that I didn't leave the place in perfect condition, but I figured I would call it even if my landlord kept my security deposit. Instead, I received a letter from him telling me that he was keeping my security deposit and that I owed him $800 for additional damage to the property. I thought that claim was totally unfair, so I didn't respond. Now, three years later, that landlord has served me with a Small Claims Court lawsuit for $1,000 in damages.
OPINION
January 24, 2008 | Michelle Steel, Michelle Steel is a Board of Equalization member representing the 3rd District, which includes a portion of Los Angeles.
At a time when state budget problems are causing widespread pain, here's one more piece of bad news: California owes millions of dollars to small-business owners. The Board of Equalization, the ultimate authority on California tax law, requires roughly 30,000 businesses to pay a returnable tax security deposit. However, a major agency oversight has delayed tax refunds for thousands of small businesses.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 15, 2007 | Jeffrey L. Rabin
The federal government and the owners of a container ship that spilled 58,000 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay last month resolved a legal standoff Friday that kept the ship in port for more than five weeks. The government received $79.5 million -- the full value of the ship, the Cosco Busan -- as the maritime equivalent of a release bond, said Andrew Ames of the U.S. Department of Justice.
REAL ESTATE
February 25, 2001 | LETA HERMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Once a landlord kept $20 of my security deposit for dusty blinds. That's not much, but I was furious. It was the principle of it. You see, I'd spent hours cleaning my apartment from top to bottom. The landlord even complimented me on the condition of the apartment when he signed off on my perfect walk-through form. So when I got my security deposit back minus my $20, I was really surprised. Thinking back, I realized I never thought about cleaning the blinds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 15, 1990 | DARRELL DAWSEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
New city ordinances designed to ease financial burdens on low-income renters have touched off a political donnybrook that is pitting a local landlord coalition against Los Angeles city officials in a fight for the rightful claim to apartment security deposits. Arguing that the money belongs to tenants, rent regulators and City Council members leveled sharp criticism Friday at the Apartment Assn.
REAL ESTATE
October 14, 2007 | Kevin Postema, Special to The Times
Question: We rent a single-family home in West Hills on a one-year lease that ends Nov. 14. The owner of the house is not renewing the lease, opting to let it automatically convert to a month-to-month rental agreement. He also is raising the rent at the expiration of the lease and has given notice of the raise, effective Dec. 14. We have decided to move rather than pay the increase, and we will give him a 30-day notice to quit, effective Dec. 14, before the rent increase kicks in.
REAL ESTATE
December 12, 2004 | Kevin Postema, Special to The Times
Question: After having lived here for two years, I have found a new apartment and am moving out in 17 days. I called the owner and asked him if I could use my security deposit to pay for the last 17 days that I would be living in the apartment. He said no but that I could pay the 17 days' rent on a prorated basis. My concern is that although I just wrote out a check for the prorated rent, they will take the last 13 days' rent out of my security deposit. Can I do anything to save that?
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