Do landlords have a time limit to do the repairs my security deposit is going to?

Are landlords allowed to keep your deposit and charge you extra then send you invoices for damages “fixed” but not fix them? Is there a time limit for them to do the repairs? Someone has already moved in and the repairs were never made but he is keeping the whole 1200.00 deposit plus 1000.00 and counting!

Asked on June 25, 2009 under Real Estate Law, California


N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Twenty-one (21) calendar days or less after you move out, your landlord must either: (1) send you a full refund of your deposit OR (2) mail or personally deliver to you an itemized statement listing the amounts of deductions made from your deposit, the reason for the deductions, and any refund amount that was not deducted.

The landlord must also send you copies of receipts for the charges the landlord incurred to repair the unit as well as the charges that were deducted from your deposit.

If the landlord can't make the repairs within the 21 days, or services/supplies are being supplied by another person and the landlord doesn't have an invoice/receipt within 21 days, he/she can make a good faith estimate of charges. But within 14 calendar days after completing the repairs or receiving the invoices/receipts, the landlord must mail or deliver to you a correct itemized statement, invoices/receipts, and any refund to which you are entitled to.

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