Update #1 ·

Do you think current law should change to protect California renters’ security deposits?

  • Yes! Landlords don't seem to understand a tenants' deposit is not their money! (46% people answered this)
  • Yes, I or someone I know has had their deposit ripped off! (41% people answered this)
  • No, I've never had a deposit unfairly withheld and don't think it's an issue. (12% people answered this)

39 people voted.

Tenants Together is a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of California tenants to safe, decent and affordable housing. As California’s only statewide renters' rights organization, Tenants Together works to improve the lives of California’s tenants through education, organizing and advocacy. Tenants Together seeks to galvanize a statewide movement for renters’ rights.

Security Deposits: "It's Your Money!"

Landlords hold billions of dollars in security deposits and improper withholding has become so common in California that many tenants have pretty much given up on ever seeing this money again.

One of the largest financial assets (sometimes the only asset) that many tenants have – their deposit – is quite literally stolen. This creates an enormous hardship for tenants and is fundamentally unfair. Security deposit theft is one of the most common grievances for California's 15 million renters.

Tenants Together recently did a survey of members: over 60% reported unfair withholding of deposit money. This is an astonishing figure. The fundamental problem is that landlords do not view these funds as the tenant's money. It's that simple.

New statewide legislation, SB 603, promotes fair treatment of tenant security deposits.The bill would require deposit funds to be held separate accounts, require interest payments to tenants on any funds held, and impose a mandatory penalty if deposit funds are improperly withheld at the conclusion of a tenancy.  SB 603 is co-sponsored by Tenants Together, Western Center on Law and Poverty and California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation.

For more information on our security deposit campaign, "It's Your Money!" go to YourDeposit.org.

If you live in California, contact your Senator to urge them to pass SB 603.

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