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Security Deposit, 21 Day Rule for Itemized Statement of Deductions Questions

Orange, CA |

Note all this was done by e-mail.

Lease ended March 31, all my stuff was moved out March 15, have not returned since.

On March 28 Landlord inspected place said full deposit will be returned. March 31 landlord says they found new damages. April 1st landlord says they will keep the entire deposit for damages that can not possibly be $1400.

Landlord is required to provide an itemized statement within 21 days after end of lease, I doubt this will happen. Do I need to ask for this itemized statement, will it look bad in small claims if I don't?

How do I prove that I did not receive the itemized statement within 21 days or that I got it past 21 days?

Should I tell landlord why the deductions are improper? Will it look bad if I don't?

Can I message him after 21 days or will that look bad?

Is first class mail required when the itemized statement is sent to me, or can any form of mail be used? I have no interest in negotiating with my landlord any longer, he is unreasonable to the point of no return. I want a judge to decide at this point, I don't want my actions to look bad to a small claims judge.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

The types of deductions that can be made on a security deposit is outlined in California Civil Code Section 1950.5. This is also the section that requires the landlord to send an itemized statement of deductions including receipts. It is advisable to attempt to negotiate the itemized statement that is sent. If no statement is sent, a correspondence to the landlord requesting an itemized statement would help show that you attempted to resolve without needing court intervention.

This response is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal advice. Any information provided is for educational purposes only. The exchange of communications through and similar social media does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me or my office. To schedule an appointment for an attorney-client privileged consultation, contact me at 909-860-0342. Thank you.


Under Civil Code Section 1950.5(g)(6), the landlord must mail the itemized statement, receipts, and estimates to the address that you provide to him. If you have not provided him with an address, then the landlord must send these to the address that you moved out from.

The rules of small claims court is somewhat more relaxed. You may ask the other party at the hearing to produce proof that he mailed to you the itemized deductions and his failure to produce such proof will greatly weigh in your favor.

If you have specific questions, you may contact me at

Best of luck to you!

Armen Taslakian. 818. 937.3590. Note: Armen Taslakian is an attorney licensed in the State of California. The answer is provided for informational use only. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. No attorney/client relationship is created unless an Agreement is signed by the attorney and the client.