Essential Security Deposits Tips for Landlords
March 12, 2015

Essential Security Deposits Tips for Landlords

The most common disputes related to property management occur around the return of security deposits. California law specifically allows security deposits to be used for four reasons:

  1. Unpaid rent

  2. Repair of damages beyond normal wear and tear

  3. Cleaning a unit at move-out, but only to restore it to the same degree of cleanliness it was in at the time of initial occupancy

  4. If provided for in the lease, the cost of restoring or replacing furniture, furnishings or other personal property if damage is beyond normal wear and tear

The landlord has 21 days after the resident vacates the property to return the security deposit in full and provide an accounting of the allowed deductions and receipts for work that is completed and deducted from the security deposit.  If the landlord fails to return the security deposit within 21 days with an accounting for deductions, the resident may be entitled to a full refund and in some cases a penalty could be imposed.

If repairs cannot be completed within the 21 day period, the landlord can send an estimated security deposit disposition with estimates for work to be completed.  Any unused security deposit would be sent along with the estimated security deposit disposition.  If that were the case, the landlord would need to send a final security deposit disposition within 14 days of the work being completed. We hope you find this information useful.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at Lyon Real Estate Property Management. Call 916-978-4232 or email

For a more detailed discussion of security deposits go to:


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Lyon Real Estate

Ranked the number one brokerage in annual home sales in the greater Sacramento region by the Sacramento Business Journal, Lyon Real Estate has served the area for over 70 years. In 2017, the company closed 7,333 transactions worth a total of $3 billion in sales volume. Lyon Real Estate has 950 agents in 17 offices located throughout the region. The company is a member of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, the largest network of premier locally-branded firms, as well as LeadingRE’s Luxury Portfolio International® program. In addition to its real estate services, Lyon Real Estate offers RELO Direct, a global relocation program. For more information about Lyon Real Estate, click to and follow us on