Civil Code section 1950.5 regulates residential security deposits (Search California Civil Code for 1950.5). A landlord is authorized to deduct from a tenant's security deposit only the amount that is reasonably necessary to (1) cover rent defaults, (2) repair damages a tenant or a tenant's guest caused other than normal wear and tear, (3) do necessary cleaning (for tenancies beginning after January 1, 2003, defined as the amount of cleaning needed to return the unit to the same level of cleanliness as at the beginning of the tenancy), and (4) if allowed by the lease, cover the cost of restoring or replacing personal property (including keys) or furniture, excluding ordinary wear and tear.
Below are some useful links regarding residential security deposits for housing in Berkeley, calculating interest on your security deposit and ensuring tenants receive as much of the security deposit back as possible.
LANDLORDS: Penalty for Failure to Refund Security Deposit by January 10thSecurity Deposit Interest Information and CALCULATOR
Suggestions for Recovering Your Security Deposit
Regulations 701-706 (Security Deposits)
FAQs about Security Deposits