Is prepaid rent treated in the same way as a depos

Are unused portions of prepaid rent (6 month prepaid lease) treated the same as a deposit dothat the landlord has 21 days to return unused portion of rent if tenant vacates 3 months early? I seem to be getting lots of opinions on this with no verifiable sources.

Asked on August 12, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not pre-paid rent is to be treated as a deposit such as a return depends upon for what type of a lease one has (for example a month to month where someone has pre-paid for six months and then wants to end the lease after month two). If the tenant vacates the unit with pre-paid rent in place and technically the tenant is not on the hook for the months where rent was pre-paid, the landlord is required to return the rent in 21 to 45 days of move out.

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