broken residential lease we leased our house through 10/31/09.

broken residential lease
we leased our house through 10/31/09. the tenants gave us notice that they were declaring bankruptsy and vacating 9/15/08. we lost 6 weeks rent and had to pay a fee to a property manager for finding a new tenant. these expenses exceed the security deposit. can we keep the deposit?
what if we did not notify the tenants within 21 days?

One thought on “broken residential lease we leased our house through 10/31/09.

  1. Re: broken residential lease
    California law specifically allows the landlord to use a tenant’s security deposit for four purposes:

    * For unpaid rent;
    * For cleaning the rental unit when the tenant moves out, but only to make the unit as clean as it was when the tenant first moved in;
    * For repair of damages, other than normal wear and tear, caused by the tenant or the tenant’s guests; and
    * If the lease or rental agreement allows it, for the cost of restoring or replacing furniture, furnishings, or other items of personal property (including keys), other than because of normal wear and tear.

    A landlord can withhold from the security deposit only those amounts that are reasonably necessary for these purposes. Accordingly, you will need to return the security deposit, absent any reason to withhold it for the above stated occurrences.

    That being said, you are entitled to assert your claim (to the 6 weeks of lost rent and the re-rental expenses, plus any liquidated damages claim you may have under the rental agreement) in the bankruptcy proceeding – as you are a creditor.

    If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me.

    Yours truly,


    Bryan C. Becker
    Your Lawyer for Life.
    1205 Prospect Street, Suite 400
    La Jolla, CA 92037

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