Security Deposits: It’s YOUR Money!

The author, previously an intern with Books Not Bars, is currently working on the new “It’s Your Money” campaign as an intern with Tenants Together

Are you a renter in California? Have you ever had your security deposit wrongfully withheld?

If so, you are not alone. Security deposit theft is one of the most common grievances among California’s 15 million renters. In a recent survey, over 60% of Tenants Together members reported improper withholding of their deposit money. 

One renter, Evelyn, shared, “When I moved out of my house I left it in good condition but my landlord refused to return my security deposit. I gave the landlord an opportunity to inspect the home, but no one came by. Utilities were included in my rent, but after I moved out my landlord sent me a bill for utilities I don’t owe.”

This is an all too common occurrence that needs to be changed. As the law stands right now, landlords are not required to hold security deposit money in a separate account, landlords do not have to pay interest on their tenants’ deposits, and penalties are rarely imposed on landlords who wrongfully withhold. 

Today, Tenants Together is launching the “It’s Your Money” campaign to promote more fair security deposit practice. The campaign coalition is united around three basic principles:

  1. Deposit money should not be co-mingled with other landlord assets
  2. Tenants deserve interest on security deposits
  3. Landlords who improperly withhold deposits must face meaningful penalties

If you have had an experience where a landlord unfairly kept your security deposit, please share your story. Interested in supporting the campaign in other ways?  Sign on now to join us and make the three principles above a reality for all California renters.

Key and money image courtesy