Security Deposit A and B enter into a month to month rental agreement for a…

Security Deposit
A and B enter into a month to month rental agreement for a house in Orange County CA. They are co-tenants, roommates. They pay a security deposit of $2000. The monthly rent is $1500. After four years without incident, A gives a proper 30 day notice, giving the address to send any refundable amounts. (A has married, his bride has moved in, B has moved out, unknown when.) Within 21 days of moving out, the security deposit is refunded to A, as requested in his notice, less deductions for carpet cleaning, replacement of missing items, and repairs, totalling $500. 30 days later, B send a letter to landlord demanding his portion of the refund and demanding an accounting and response within 30 days. The issue: Since B had vacated the property without notice, leaving A to give a 30 day, does B have standing to demand of the landlord a share of the refund, and an accounting of costs?

2 thoughts on “Security Deposit A and B enter into a month to month rental agreement for a…

  1. Re: Security Deposit
    B’s “vacating” the premises is meaningless from the landlord’s legal point of view, because the landlord has rented to A and B and as long as A resides there, the premises are not vacant.

    There are two remaining issues. (1) Should the landlord have refunded the deposit to A alone, or should he have made the refund payable to A and B? and (2) does B have an action against A for his share (whatever that may be) of the deposit?

    As to the first question, the landlord should probably refund the deposit by a check made payable to both tenants, or alternatively, to the co-tenant from whom it was originally received. However, the landlord can defend his choice of tenant to whom the refund is given on the ground that the co-tenants are agents for one another.

    As to (2), barring any contrary understanding between A and B, each is entitled to the portion of the deposit he originally contributed, adjusted for any unequal fault or responsibility for the deductions made by the landlord, whether for cleaning or unpaid rent, and further adjusted for any financial consequence of B’s earlier move-out.

    In short, a judge would decide a lawsuit between A and B on the real-world equities of the situation, but the landlord should be in the clear at this stage.

    Bryan Whipple
    Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
    P O Box 318
    Tomales, CA 94971-0318

  2. Re: Security Deposit
    No, but A should sue the landlord for charging for reasonable wear and tear–A should get triple damages for the wrongful acts of the landlord. Also, if B has harrassed A at all about this, then A should also sue B for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. That B guy is a real jerk.

    Robert Mccoy
    Law Office Of Robert McCoy
    204 N. San Antonio Ave.
    Ontario, CA 91762

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