Starting January 1, 2020 landlords in California will be limited in how much they can collect in security deposits from tenants who are active military members.
SB-644 limits security deposits for active military members to one month’s rent for unfurnished units or two month’s rent for furnished units. This is compared with limits of two month’s rent (unfurnished) and three month’s rent (furnished) for non-military.
The law will also prohibit a landlord from refusing to enter into a rental agreement with a service member because of these limits. Still, there are a couple exceptions. The standard non-military limits would apply when:
- The tenant has a history of poor credit or of causing damage to rental property or furnishings
- The property is rented to a group of individuals, one or more of whom is not the service member’s spouse, parent, domestic partner, or dependent
The bill, which was signed by the governor on October 8, 2019, is aimed at making things a bit easier for active service members during the current housing shortage.