Tenant asked for inspection before moved-out. Landlord and tenant were present at the inspection. Landlord didn't bring any paperwork and refused to itemize what was in great condition and what needed to be checked/or fixed. Tenant has no proof of what Landlord could hold against her security deposit. Does the list need to be given to tenant on the day of the inspection if tenant was present? Can landlord charge for things she never mentioned in an itemized list she never gave? Thanks.
Yes. Pursuant to CA Civil Code Section 1950.5(f)(2), after the initial inspection, the landlord must prepare an itemized statement of repairs or cleaning that the landlord believes the tenant should perform in order to avoid deductions from the tenant's security deposit. The landlord or agent must give the statement to the tenant if the tenant is present for the inspection, or leave it inside the unit if the tenant is not present. The landlord also must give the tenant a copy of the sections of California's security deposit statute that list lawful uses of tenants' security deposits.
In the event the landlord ultimately charges the tenant for things not on the itemized list from the initial inspection, the tenant has a much stronger claim if the tenant has to sue in small claims court.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
I agree with Mr. Chen's answer. You may find the following guide helpful, particularly beginning at page 50 and specifically at page 58: California Tenants
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