When must a tenant return their mailbox key?

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When must a tenant return their mailbox key?

I just recently gave a 30 day notice to my tenant to move out. It’s my house and I rent her a room. She’s only been living there 4 months so it hasn’t been that long but I want her to give back the mail box key. Does she have to do that or can she hold on to it until she moves out?

Asked on August 29, 2011 California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you gave your tenant a thirty (30) day notice to vacate the room that you are renting to her in your home, your tenant has up until the time she actually moves from your home under California law to return to you the key to the mail box that she possesses. She is still a tenant of yours until she moves out and as such, she has all rights and privileges of a tenant including use and possession of the mailbox key.

If the tenant moves out and fails to return to you the key that she has, you as the landlord have the right to have a new lock placed upon the mailbox and debit from the tenant's security deposit the costs of the lock, its installation and the new keys. Make sure that you return to her the unused portion of the security deposit with all debits itemized from it with receipts within twent-one (21) days of move out.


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