California law limits the total amount that the landlord can require you to pay as a security deposit. For an unfurnished rental unit, the total amount that can be required cannot be more than the amount of two months rent. If you have a waterbed, the total amount allowed can be up to two and one-half time the monthly rent. If it's a furnished unit, the landlord can charge three times the rent, and if you have a waterbed, three and one-half times rent. The landlord can also require the first months rent in addition to the security deposit. The landlord cannot ask for anything more (except an application fee) and the security deposit cannot be "nonrefundable."
Douglas A. Wright is a licensed California attorney (SBN 239112) who owns and operates EvictionsInc.com. The information presented in this response is general in nature under California law and is not intended, nor should be construed as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, you should consult your own attorney.
Attorney Wright is correct.
Under California law, for an unfurnished residential rental unit, the maximum amount of security deposit is two times the amount of monthly rent for an unfurnished dwelling, and three times the monthly rent for a furnished dwelling.
See California Civil Code section 1950.5.
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 posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult with your own attorney.