Landlord Tip of the Month – November 2011


This Month’s Tip:


One of the areas that is often overlooked is how to properly handle a tenant move-out, especially the proper handling of a tenant’s security deposit.

Assuming the tenant gives you at least 30 days notice, or if you terminate a tenancy with either 30 or 60 days notice, you must provide the tenant with a notice informing the tenant she/he has a right to request a pre move-out inspection. (Civil Code § 1950.5.) If the tenant requests the pre move-out inspection, it must take place no later than two weeks before the last day of the tenancy. In practice, a pre move-out inspection is similar to a pre move-in inspection or a final walkthrough inspection of the unit: the purpose is to note defective conditions and damage beyond normal wear and tear. With the pre move-out inspection, however, you are also required to give the tenant a good faith estimate of what you anticipate the repairs will cost. The California legislature’s rationale behind this pre move-out inspection is that it provides the tenant with an opportunity to make some repairs to the unit in order to get more (or all of) their security deposit returned.

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