Does voluntarily vacating and the landlord changing the locks count as a constructive eviction?

After being issued a 3-day notice b/c one of my roommates did not pay rent for August, the landlord asked us to voluntarily move out so that he could just re-rent the apartment and not have to go through a proper eviction. We obliged and now because he was unable to rerent the unit in time, he is charging us rent for September and is refusing to issue a security deposit. He refused to give us anything in writing before we left and said he was just trying to make it easier. It has been well over the 21 day period that landlords have to issue a statement for why they are keeping a deposit and I have not received anything, even at the old address. I would like to go after him for a constructive "self-help" eviction for 3 times the deposit plus a portion of rent. Is this doable?

Los Angeles, CA -

Attorney Answers (1)

Kenny Kean Tan

Kenny Kean Tan

Real Estate Attorney - Pomona, CA
Answered

No, this is not constructive eviction. But since you didn't pay rent and he's issued a 3-day notice to evict you, you may have waived your right to receive a statement for the security deposit within 21 days under CC 1950.5.

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