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an6rew

California: Lease states that I loose security deposit if I break lease for any reason

5 posts in this topic

California - SF Bay Area.

 

I just noticed that my lease states that the landlord can keep my security deposit if I break the lease early. This is in addition to any other damages for lost rent. Basically if I break the lease he keeps it even if I find him another qualified tenant. Is that legal in California? I live on the SF peninsula. Does California law override his edits on the lease?

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It's not that simple. A lot depends on the exact terms and conditions of your lease as required by the following CA statute:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/fa...tionNum=1951.4.

Read it and then check your lease for the appropriate provisions.

California law doesn't take kindly to forfeitures but it does give a landlord the option of continuing to hold you responsible for the rent indefinitely and apply your deposit to unpaid rent if he complies with the statute.

Keep in mind that it's not your opinion of whether your replacement is qualified it's the landlords qualifying requirements that are paramount as long as those requirements are reasonable.

Also keep in mind that you'll be obliged to continue paying rent until the replacement is approved or you sublet the unit and retain responsibility for your tenant.

In short, breaking a lease comes with consequences even in the best of circumstances and you could, effectively, lose your deposit and then some.

The lesson learned here: Don't sign contracts and think you can just walk away from them unscathed.

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We get that we are responsible for the rent. I'm asking about the security deposit. I think he intends to keep it even if he has a new tenant and we are current with rent and there are no damages or other amounts owed.  

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On 1/11/2019 at 6:16 PM, an6rew said:

Is that legal in California?

 

No (i.e., such a provision is not enforceable).  However, as a practical matter, it would be extremely unlikely for the facts to be such that you could get any of your deposit back if you leave early (unless you pay rent for the period until a new tenant takes possession or the lease term expires).  To some extent, it also matters whether your lease expressly allows or prohibits subleases or assignments.

 

 

On 1/11/2019 at 6:16 PM, an6rew said:

Does California law override his edits on the lease?

 

I'm not sure what you mean by edits, but this sounds like basically the same question as the first one.

 

 

On 1/11/2019 at 8:47 PM, an6rew said:

We get that we are responsible for the rent. I'm asking about the security deposit. I think he intends to keep it even if he has a new tenant and we are current with rent and there are no damages or other amounts owed.

 

That would not be legally permissible.

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