Tenants: How to get your security deposit refund

Security Deposit 101

The number one priority for all Grass Valley, Nevada City, Auburn, and Colfax tenants is to maximize their security deposit refund when moving out of a rental property.  I’ve created a simple list that tenants can use as a guide to help maximize their return.  

Tenants: How to get your rental security deposit refund

Checklist for Grass Valley, Nevada City, Auburn, Colfax and surrounding area tenants on Security Deposit Refund:

1. Pay your rent on-time.  Falling behind in your rent can give the landlord a reason to not return your full security deposit refund.  

2. Give the landlord 30 days notice in writing when deciding to leave.  You are still responsible to pay rent during those last 30 days.  If you’re breaking a lease, you are required to pay rent until another tenant is placed, as long as the landlord is making a reasonable effort to find another tenant.  

3. After you vacate the property, return the house keys, garage remotes, gate keys/remotes, etc. to the landlord.  It is important that the landlord knows you’re completely moved out of the property.  This will start the 21 day time frame the landlord has to return the security deposit refund back to you.  

 4. Leave the property in the same condition it was in when you moved in.  A landlord cannot, by California Law, charge you for “normal wear and tear” to the unit.  For example, it is considered normal wear and tear to have to clean the carpets upon a tenant leaving.  However, it is not normal wear and tear for there to be giant stains all over the carpet.  Remove all of your personal belongings and clean the unit to the same degree it was when you moved in.  The landlord should offer to do a pre-inspection two weeks prior to your vacate date.  This will allow you to fix, repair, or clean anything that the landlord finds wrong with the unit.  

5. Give your landlord your forwarding address and phone number.  California Law allows landlords 21 days to account for the security deposit.  Make sure they have your contact information so that can mail your security deposit refund check back to you.  


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